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Regional hospitality campaign to boost compliance with child employment laws

Wage Inspectorate Victoria has launched a campaign to raise awareness of child employment laws and check that hospitality businesses employing kids under 15 years are complying with their obligations.

Friday, 25 March 2022 at 3:43 am

The campaign will focus on fast-food, restaurant and café industry employers in Phillip Island, Drouin, Warragul, Wonthaggi, Inverloch and surrounds.

The workplace regulator has written to employers in these regions to inform them of the campaign and that they may be one of 150 businesses selected for a compliance check.

These regions have been selected because they may be popular tourist destinations over Easter. Some have also experienced population increases, meaning there could be more children looking for holiday work.

Businesses selected for a compliance check will be asked to provide documents relating to any children under 15 years of age they employ.

The campaign will also see Child Employment Officers visit employers during the April school holidays, when children are more likely to be working, to answer questions about permit obligations, hours of work, rest breaks and other requirements.

In Victoria, employers need a permit before a child under 15 years of age can be employed, although there are some exemptions, such as for children employed in family businesses.

Permits are free, and the online application process to receive one is fast and straightforward. Employers can apply online at, which also contains answers to commonly asked questions and educative resources.

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

Research shows children in regional areas are more likely than their metropolitan counterparts to work (8 per cent regional, compared to 5 per cent metropolitan), and that almost 50 per cent of kids working in cafes and restaurants are asked to work longer than their allocated shift.

Businesses, parents or teachers seeking information about child employment obligations should visit the Wage Inspectorate’s website or call its Helpline on 1800 287 287.