The Child Employment (Amendment) Act 2022 in Victoria came into effect on July 1, 2023. Why?
To improve the regulation and protection of children under 15 in the workplace. Here is our quick reference guide
NEW LICENSING SYSTEM
The Act introduces a streamlined licensing system to replace the permit system. Employers can now employ multiple children under one license, which reduces the administrative burden. Current permits remain valid until expiration.
Changes have been made to ensure children are always supervised by someone over 18. In the entertainment industry, children must be supervised by someone with a Victorian Working with Children Clearance during casting. Unless they are exempt, for example the child’s parent or legal guardian is present. Supervisor records must be maintained for 5 years.
DEFINITION OF EMPLOYMENT
The definition of employment for children under 15 has been modified. New criteria have been added to determine whether a child’s work is considered employment.
The Act now applies to not-for-profit organizations that engage children, regardless of the existence of an employment contract.
Mostly excluded from the Act, the definition of family business has been clarified. It must be the business of the child’s parent or a person with parental responsibility.
For employers in entertainment, a new provision of prohibited conduct has been included in the Act, which incorporates and builds upon requirements in the Mandatory Code of Practice for the Employment of Children in Entertainment. An employer must ensure a child is not socially isolated or caused to feel: intimidated, threatened, frightened, or humiliated. Children must not be exposed to adult themes.
COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT
The Wage Inspectorate has more power to enforce compliance, and penalties for breaching the Act have increased.
The Act aims to strengthen protections for child workers and help employers understand their obligations more clearly.
Find Out More – https://www.vic.gov.au/changes-child-employment-act
Applying for a Child Employment Licence https://www.vic.gov.au/apply-child-employment-licence