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Mansfield cafe charged with over 100 child employment breaches

A Mansfield cafe faces 101 criminal charges in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria over alleged breaches of Victoria’s child employment laws.

Monday, 6 March 2023 at 12:56 am

The state’s child employment watchdog, Wage Inspectorate Victoria, alleges that between February and August 2022, Budsoda Pty Ltd, trading as The Produce Store, contravened the Child Employment Act 2003 by:

  • employing children under the age of 15 without a permit
  • failing to ensure employees under 15 are supervised by someone with a Working with Children Clearance
  • employing children to work shifts of more than 3 hours during a school term
  • employing children to work shifts of more than 6 hours during school holidays
  • failing to provide adequate rest breaks.

The maximum penalty for each of the above offences is 100 penalty units ($18,174 for offences in the 2021-22 financial year and $18,429 for offences in the 2022-23 financial year).

The matter has been listed for mention in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on 4 April 2023.

The Wage Inspectorate will make no further comment while the matter is before the court.


Victoria’s child employment laws require employers of children under 15 to obtain a permit from the Wage Inspectorate before any work takes place.

The permit system enables the Wage Inspectorate to check that matters like safety, hours of work, rest breaks and supervision are properly considered before employment starts.

Workers under 15 typically need to be supervised by someone who holds a valid employee Victorian Working with Children Clearance.

Child employment laws restrict when businesses can employ children and how long they can work:

  • 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 up to 6 hours a day and 30 hours a week.

Children must receive a 30-minute rest break after every 3 hours of work.

The Produce Store matter is the seventh child employment prosecution the Wage Inspectorate has instigated in the last 18 months. A prosecution is the Wage Inspectorate’s most serious compliance tool and decisions to take legal action are made in line with its Compliance and Enforcement Policy.

More information about Victoria’s child employment laws is available on the Wage Inspectorate’s website or by calling 1800 287 287.