Child employment permits
There is no minimum age for working in a family business or in entertainment and advertising, but a child must be at least:
- 11 to do delivery work
- 13 to do other types of work, such as in retail or hospitality.
An employer must get a permit before they employ someone under 15, whether the work is paid or voluntary. Employing a child without a permit is a crime and may be penalised.
Child Safe Standards
Victoria’s Child Safe Standards 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.
Entertainment and advertising
There are industry-specific requirements for employing a child under 15 in entertainment and advertising.
There are restrictions on when you can employ children and how many hours they work:
- Children cannot be employed during school hours on a school day.
- During a school term, children can be employed for a maximum of 3 hours a day and 12 hours per week.
- During school holidays, children can be employed for a maximum of 6 hours a day and 30 hours per week.
Start and finish times
For street trading, children cannot start work before 6am or sunrise (whichever is later) and must finish by 6pm or sunset (whichever is earlier).
For other employment, children cannot start work before 6am and must finish by 9pm.
Children under 15 must receive a minimum rest break of 30 minutes for every 3 hours worked and have at least 12 hours break between finishing one shift and starting the next.
Family business exemption
Parents or guardians don’t need a child employment permit to employ their child in a family business. They are also exempt from rules around:
- age restrictions
- hours of work
- rest breaks.
However, parents or guardians must directly supervise their child. If someone else is the child's supervisor, the family business exemption does not apply.
Children working in a family business cannot perform work during school hours or in jobs that are prohibited or may be harmful to their health, safety, development, moral or material welfare.
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 .
Reviewed 12 January 2023