Employing children under 15 years will require an employer to apply for a child employment permit under the Child Employment Act 2003 (the Act).
There is a common misconception by many that the minimum age of employment is 14 years and 9 months. This is not the case.
Overview of employing children
- To employ a child to do delivery work, the minimum age is 11 years and you will need to apply for an all other industries other than entertainment permit
- To employ a child in other categories of work (e.g. retail or hospitality) the minimum age is 13 years and you will need to apply for an all other industries other than entertainment permit
- There is no minimum age for children working in the entertainment industry. Children in entertainment have their conditions set down by a Mandatory Code of Practice and you will need to apply for an entertainment industry permit
- Children working in family businesses are exempt from the general conditions
- Once a child turns 15 years a permit is no longer required.
For detailed information about everything listed above look at the child employment laws and requirements.
Applying for a Child Employment Permit
The employment of children under 15 years is regulated by the Child Employment Act 2003 (the Act). The Act aims to protect children from any adverse effects of employment while recognising the benefits which children can gain.
The minimum age of employment in industries other than entertainment is different to those which apply in the entertainment industry. The allowable hours of work and other conditions of employment are also different, as are the procedures for applying for a permit.
The Act provides for a Permit system which requires an employer to make application prior to the employment commencing. The process is reasonably straightforward and is intended to ensure that appropriate risk assessments have been completed and risks addressed.
- Child Employment Officers in the Employment Information and Compliance Unit at the Department of Business and Innovation are authorised to issue child employment permits.
- A permit needs to be obtained before employment of a child commences. This means that it must have been applied for and issued by a Child Employment Officer. Merely having applied for the permit is not sufficient to allow you to employ a child.
- Application time can vary and Child Employment Officers can provide advice on the process and time requirements for issuing permits. Enquiring first will ensure you allow sufficient time for permits to be obtained when required.
- Employers are required to keep records and documents in relation to the employment of children under Child Employment Permits.