Child employment licence
Victorian businesses now need a licence to employ children under 15.
The licensing system replaced the existing permit system and enables businesses to employ multiple kids under one licence, instead of needing a permit for each child they employ.
Existing child employment permits are still valid, so you don’t need a licence to employ children you already have permits for.
Parents or guardians don’t need a licence to employ their child in their family business.
In Victoria, a child must be:
- 11 to deliver newspapers and advertising material
- 13 to do other types of work, such as in retail or hospitality.
Workers under 15 must be supervised by someone who holds a Working with Children Clearance.
As of 1 July 2023, the supervisor must be at least 18 years old.
In the entertainment industry, this supervision requirement also applies during casting.
There are restrictions on when children can work and for how long:
- Children cannot work during school hours.
- Usually, children can only work between 6am and 9pm.
- During a school term, children can work for a maximum of 3 hours a day and 12 hours per week.
- During school holidays, children can work for a maximum of 6 hours a day and 30 hours per week.
Children must also receive a 30-minute rest break after every 3 hours of work and have at least 12 hours break between shifts.
Watch our short video about the child employment laws.Victoria's child employment laws animation
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.
Child employment licence holders must comply with Child Safe Standards.
Parents and guardians
Businesses need written permission from a child’s parent or guardian before employment can start.
If you have a child under 15 who has just secured a job, make sure the employer has a child employment permit or licence. It’s a simple step you can take to ensure the employer has considered your child’s health and wellbeing.
Other changes to child employment laws
Other changes to Victoria’s child employment laws that took effect on 1 July 2023, include:
- Not-for-profit organisations are no longer exempt from the laws.
- Door-to-door fundraising is no longer excluded from the meaning of employment.
- The exclusion of casual tutoring has been widened to include tutoring done in any location.
- The minimum age for delivering pharmaceutical products increased from 11 to 13.
- The Wage Inspectorate now has new compliance powers.
Wage Inspectorate Victoria
The Wage Inspectorate promotes and enforces Victoria’s child employment laws.
All workplaces have risks, and these are magnified for young, inexperienced employees. So speak with the Wage Inspectorate to get the information you need to create a safe workplace for them.
Reviewed 18 September 2023