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Operators of Yarrawonga chemist charged with child employment breaches

Wage Inspectorate Victoria has filed 11 charges in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria against each of the operators of a chemist in Yarrawonga, alleging they contravened state laws that regulate the employment of children under 15 years.

Tuesday 6 September 2022 3:54am

It is alleged the operators of Terry White Chemmart Yarrawonga contravened section 9(1) of the Child Employment Act 2003 by failing to obtain a child employment permit before employing a child under 15 years of age.

The charges relate to the alleged employment of a child from December 2021 to January 2022.

The maximum penalty for each offence is $18,174 (100 penalty units) for body corporates and $10,904 per offence (60 penalty units) for individuals involved.

The matter has been listed for mention in the Magistrates’ Court at Melbourne on 13 October 2022.


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 law also allows child employment officers to impose special conditions on the employment to protect a child’s safety.

Permits are free, and the online application process to receive one is fast and straightforward. Employers can apply online at

The permit system protects children from work that could harm their health, safety or wellbeing. It enables the Wage Inspectorate to check that matters like safety, hours of work, rest breaks and supervision are properly considered before employment starts.

This latest court proceeding comes on top of other recent action by the Wage Inspectorate:

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.

Last financial year, the Wage Inspectorate issued more than 7,700 child employment permits to help businesses safely employ children under 15 years.

A licensing system will be introduced from 1 July 2023 as part of changes to Victoria’s child employment laws. The new system will strengthen protections for children and make it simpler for employers to understand their obligations.

Employers, parents and children can visit for information on child employment or call the Wage Inspectorate’s Helpline on 1800 287 287.

Reviewed 06 September 2022

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