Summer carnival operator served with 133 child employment charges

The operators of the summer carnival on the Rye foreshore face 133 criminal charges in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria over alleged breaches of Victoria’s child employment laws.

Published:
Sunday, 21 January 2024 at 9:00 pm

The state’s child employment watchdog, Wage Inspectorate Victoria, alleges that between 26 December 2022 and 28 January 2023, Wittingslow Carnivals Pty Ltd, contravened the Child Employment Act 2003 by employing: 

  • 3 children under the age of 15 without a permit on 52 occasions 
  • a child below the minimum age of employment on 24 occasions
  • children later than 9pm on 52 occasions
  • a child for more hours than they are permitted to work on 5 occasions.

The maximum penalty for each offence is $18,492. 

The matter is listed for mention in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 20 February 2024.

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

Background

In Victoria, a child must be 11 to deliver newspapers and advertising material and 13 for most other types of work.

An employer usually needs a child employment permit or licence to employ someone under 15. Employing a child without a permit or licence is a crime.

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 can only work between 6am and 9pm.

Children must also receive a 30-minute rest break after every 3 hours work and have at least 12 hours break between shifts.

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 at wageinspectorate.vic.gov.au.

Updated