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Child Employment Small Business Information Service

Offering free advice regarding your responsibilities under the Act

On this page

  • Find out about the Child Employment Small Business Information Service (CESBIS)
  • Read our examples for employers seeking to employ children 
  • Contact a child employment officer for more information

Organisations that employ a child for whom a permit is required under the Child Employment Act 2003 are also required to comply with Child Safe Standards. 

Visit the Commission for Children and Young People's website for more information.

If you own, are looking to purchase, or start a small business with under 20 employees, you may be eligible for our Child Employment Small Business Information Service (CESBIS).


CESBIS offers one-on-one information and advice regarding your responsibilities under the Victoria Child Employment Act.

To access this program, contact the Employment Information and Compliance Unit by giving them a call on 1800 287 287 or sending them an email.

We understand that taking on board all the information about child employment can be confusing and at times, a little overwhelming. Take a look at some of the scenarios we've listed below – one of them may apply to you.

Entertainment industry

Example – Sam needs to hire children for a production company

Sam has landed his first professional role within a production company. Sam has been given the responsibility of hiring two children under 15 years of age. Sam has never hired children before and isn't sure where to start. 

The employment of children under 15 years of age in Victoria is regulated under the Child Employment Act 2003 (Vic). 

There are obligations and responsibilities within the Act and Mandatory Code of Practice for Children in Entertainment which must be complied with when employing children in Victoria.  

Non-entertainment – industries other than entertainment

Example – Joe is a milk bar owner

Joe owns a local milk bar and wishes to employ a child, Anna, from the neighbourhood to restock the shelves. Anna is 14 years and 9 months old. Joe isn't sure whether Anna is old enough to work.

It's a common misconception that 14 years and 9 months is the minimum working age without a permit in Victoria. 

Under the Child Employment Act 2003 (Vic) the minimum working age is 15 years without a permit in Victoria. 

If you're looking to employ a child under the age of 15 years, you can do so by making an application online via the Child Employment Portal.

If you're unable to access a computer to make an online application, we've provided offline application forms at the bottom of the page under the 'Handy tools' section.

Travelling to Victoria from another state or country

Example – Alexis owns a NSW production company

Alexis runs a production company in NSW. She is hosting a large musical production that will tour across all states in Australia. Alexis hopes to employ ten children, to be involved. Alexis is familiar with the NSW laws on employing children but she isn't sure about the laws in each state and if they are different. 

The employment of children in Victoria is regulated under the Child Employment Act 2003 (Vic). This Act applies to employing children under 15 years within Victoria. 

Child employment laws differ from state to state – so make sure you check the laws relevant to the state in which you're employing the children. 

Still unsure?

For more information on Victorian child employment laws, get in contact with a child employment officer by calling them on 1800 287 287 or sending them an email.

Employing children in Victoria - the permit application process

Employing children in Victoria – the permit application process: read the full transcript 

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