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Changes to Victoria's child employment laws

Changes to child employment laws take effect on 1 July 2023. The changes will strengthen protections for children in the workplace and make it simpler for employers to understand their obligations when employing children.

New Child Safe Standards are now in effect. Businesses employing children under 15 years old must comply with the new Standards.

Child employment permits

Victoria's laws protect children from work that could harm their health or wellbeing.

There is no minimum age of employment in entertainment or advertising, however, you need an industry specific permitExternal Link before you can employ a child under 15. This applies to both paid and voluntary work.

Employing a child without a permit is a crime and may be penalised.

You must also comply with the Mandatory Code of Practice and Child Safe Standards.

Child Safe Standards

Victoria’s Child Safe StandardsExternal Link require organisations to embed child safety in their day-to-day operations, helping keep children safe from physical, sexual, emotional and psychological abuse and neglect.

Employers issued with a child employment permit must comply with Child Safe Standards.

The Commission for Children and Young People has guides and resources to help you understand and comply with the StandardsExternal Link .

Apply for a permit

Comprehensive guide to employing children in entertainment and advertising

The Guide to the Employment of Children in the Victorian Entertainment Industry provides comprehensive information on:

  • supervision of children
  • hours of employment
  • education and schooling
  • workplace conditions
  • the Mandatory Code of Practice.

Our role

At the Wage Inspectorate we:

  • provide information to employees, guardians and employers about child employment
  • proactively investigate non-compliance and penalise offenders
  • respond to complaints and tip-offs about non-compliance
  • promote child safety outcomes in Victorian workplaces
  • monitor and enforce compliance with Child Safe Standards in Victorian workplaces.

Report someone you suspect is breaking child employment rulesExternal Link using our online form or by calling 1800 287 287. You can remain anonymous.

If you have questions about child employment, email us or call 1800 287 287.

Reviewed 12 January 2023

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