What are the minimum age requirements for employment?

A State by State Summary of employment rules for under 18 employees and students

Minimum Age Requirements

Are you an employer considering to hire under 18 year old employees? Are you a parent who owns a family business and now considering hiring your child in the business? This guide provides a state by state summary of laws and guidelines on hiring students and employees under the age of 18. We recommend visiting the Fair Work Ombudsman website for more information.

Victorian Minimum Age Requirements

 

What is the minimum legal age of an employee?
Generally, there is a minimum age of 13 for employment. However to employ without a special permit, the employee must be at least 15. There are some exceptions to this:


-There is no minimum age for the employment of children in a family business or in the entertainment industry.
-If the employee is older than 11, they can work delivering newspapers and advertising material or making deliveries for a registered pharmacist.

If the employee is under 15, it is against the law for an employer to break these conditions:
-unless the employee is employed in a family business, the employer must have a Child Employment Permit.
-the employee can only do light work, such as running errands, office work, gardening, delivering newspapers and being a shop assistant;
-they cannot work in door-to-door sales, on a construction site unless it is at lock-up stage or on a fishing boat unless it is in inland waters.


What hours can the employee work?

It is against the law for an employer to employ a student during hours they are required to be at school. It is also against the law for their parents or carers to allow them do a kind of work or do a number of hours that interferes with their school work.

If the employee is under 15 it is against the law for an employer to break these conditions:
- the student cannot work more than 3 hours a day during school term;
- they cannot work more than 12 hours per week during school term;
- the student cannot work more than 6 hours a day during school holidays (including rest breaks);
- they cannot work more than 30 hours a week during school holidays (including rest breaks);
- the employee cannot work earlier than sunrise or 6am (whichever is later) and after sunset or 6pm (whichever is earlier)
- if they are working at street markets; they cannot work earlier than 6am or later than 9pm;
- the student must be given a rest break of 30 minutes after every 3 hours work (but the employer is not required to pay you for the break);
- they must have more than 12 hours between finishing one shift and starting the next.

When can a student be employed full-time?

They can work full-time if they have completed Year 10.  

If the employee is under 17 years old, they must be either in school, in an approved education or training program or have full-time paid employment.

New South Wales Minimum Age Requirements

 

What is the minimum legal age of an employee?

There is no minimum age to start casual or part-time work in NSW. However, a student have to be 14 and 9 months to do door-to-door sales work.  

What hours can a student work?

If an employee is  under 15 (or under 16 in the case of modelling work), it is against the law for an employer to require them to work:

-During school hours
-More than one shift per day
-More than four hours on a day they have to go to school
-More than five consecutive days
-After 9pm if they have to go to school the next day
-If it is less than 12 hours since their last shift
-For any hours that make the combination of their school hours and work hours in a 7 day week more than 50 hours.

If  the employer does not hold an authority to employ people under 15, they cannot require the student to work for more than 10 hours per week. 

There are additional rules about working hours if an employee is doing door-to-door sales, modelling, theatrical performances or entertainment work.

When can a student work full-time?

An employee can work full-time after they have completed year 10 or when they turn 17, whichever occurs earlier.

If they haven’t completed year 10 or aren’t yet 17 and wish to leave school to work full time, they need to seek permission from the Department of Education and Training.

All too complicated?

Running a business is hard enough, if you want some advice on you can take advantage of the best type of funding, feel free to contact us.

Queensland Minimum Age Requirements

What is the minimum legal age of an employee?

The general minimum age for starting work is 13 years.  

If a student is 11 or older, they can do delivery work such as delivering newspapers and advertising leaflets.  If they are aged 11 or 12, they cannot do delivery work between 6pm and 6am.  

There is no minimum age for working in a family business or in the entertainment industry. 

If an employee is under 16 and required to be enrolled at school, they need a parent’s consent to work. 

What hours can  a student work?

It is against the law for an employer to employ a student during hours that they are required to be at school.  

There are limits on the number of hours a student can work.

If they are under 16 and required to be enrolled in school:
-During a school week, they cannot work more than 12 hours and only up to four hours per day; 
-During school holidays, a student cannot work more than 38 hours and only up to eight hours per day;
-they cannot work more than four hours without a one hour break;
-they cannot work if they have already worked for the same employer within the last 12 hours;
-they cannot do more than one shift each day;
-a student cannot work between 10pm and 6am.

Children who are not old enough to start school:
-cannot work more than 12 hours in a week;
-cannot work more than four hours in a day;
-cannot work if the child has already worked for the same employer within the last 12 hours.

When can a student work full-time?

A student can work full-time when they have completed year 10 or turned 16 years of age, whichever occurs first.

They must be either in school, in an approved education or training program or have full-time paid employment until they turn 17, complete year 12 or have completed two years of further education, employment or training, whichever happens first.

South Australia Minimum Age Requirements

What is the minimum legal age of an employee?

A student can start part-time or casual work at any age in South Australia.  However it is against the law for an employer to employ a student in a kind of work that would interfere with their school work. 

What hours can  an employee work?

If the student is under the age of 16 it is against the law for an employer to employ them during hours that they are required to be at school.

When can a student work full-time?

A student can work full time when:

- they are 17; or
- they are 16 and have a year 12 qualification from a high school or a certificate 2 qualification from TAFE, apprenticeship, traineeship or university; or
- they are 16 and their full time work is an apprenticeship or traineeship that is part of an approved learning program.

All too complicated?

Running a business is hard enough, if you want some advice on you can take advantage of the best type of funding, feel free to contact us.

Western Australia Minimum Age Requirements

What is the minimum legal age of an employee?

No matter how old a student is, they can work in:
-a family business;
-a dramatic or musical performance, or any other form of entertainment; or
-the making of an advertisement.

If a student is 10, 11 or 12 they can be employed to deliver newspapers, pamphlets or advertising material, as long as a parent goes with then or they have written permission from their parent for another adult to go with them.

If a student is 13 or 14 they can do the following work if they have a parent’s written permission: 
-Delivering newspapers, pamphlets or advertising material;
-Working in a shop, retail outlet or restaurant, or
-Collecting shopping trolleys for a shop.

From when a student turns 15, they can work in other jobs as well, such as in a shop, restaurant, trade or office.

What hours can a student work?

If a student is under 17, it is against the law for an employer to employ them during school hours unless:
- the student has an agreement with their school principal and their parents; or
- they are in year 11 or year 12 and the Minster for Education approves; or
- they are in year 11 or year 12 and they are doing an apprenticeship or approved Vocational Education and Training course, or undertaking a course of study provided by a university.

If  they are 10, 11 or 12, they can work between the hours of 6am and 7pm. 

If they are 13 or 14, they can work between 6am and 10pm.

When can a student work full-time?

When can the student work full-time?

An employee can work full-time if they have completed the compulsory attendance at school or at the end of the year that they turn 17.

If they are in year 11 or 12, they may be able to work full-time if the Minster for Education approves.

Tasmania Minimum Age Requirements

What is the minimum legal age of an employee?

Generally, there is no minimum age to start casual or part-time work in Tasmania. 

However there are exceptions:

-If the employee is  under 11, it is against the law for someone to allow or require them to sell things in a public place (such as street markets).
-If they are under 14, it is against the law for someone to allow or require them to sell things in a public place (such as street markets) after 9pm and before 5am the next day. 

What hours can a student work?

It is against the law for an employer to employ a student during hours they are required to be at school, except with permission of the Secretary of the Department of Education.

When can a student work full-time?

A student can leave school and work full-time at the end of the school year in which they turn 16.

All too complicated?

Running a business is hard enough, if you want some advice on you can take advantage of the best type of funding, feel free to contact us.

ACT Minimum Age Requirements

What is the minimum legal age of an employee?

There is no minimum age to start casual or part-time work in ACT.  However if the student us under the age of 15, they can only do light work.  Examples of light work are: 

-running errands
-casual work in and around a private home
-work related to sporting activities such as being and umpire, referee or tennis court attendant
-clerical work
-work as a cashier
-gardening
-babysitting
-modelling
-performing arts (including film, television, theatre).

If an employee is  under 15, their parents will need to give written permission to their employer before they commence work.

What hours can the employee work?

It is against the law for an employer to employ a student during hours they are required to be at school. They cannot be required do work that is not in their best interests, such as work that interferes with their school work.

There are limits on how many hours a student can work each day:
-Children aged 0 – 3 can work for 3 hours a day;
-Children aged  4 – 11 can work 4 hours a day;
-Children aged 12 – 14 can work 6 hours a day;
-The maximum that anyone under 15 can work in a week is 10 hours;
-They must have at least 12 hours between each shift;
-A student cannot work more than one shift per day;
-they cannot work before 6am or sunrise (whichever is later) or after 10pm.

If an employer wants a student to work more than 10 hours a week (such as in school holidays), they need to contact the director-general at least a week before the work starts.

If the employee is  aged 15 – 17, there is no limit on the number of hours they can work, however the hours they are working should not interfere with your education.  

When can a student work full-time?

A student can work full-time when they turn 17 or when you finish year 12, whichever happens first.

They can also make an application to work full-time if they have completed year 10.  To do this they or their parents need to apply to the Chief Executive of the ACT Department of Education and Training for approval.  they will need their parent’s consent to do this (unless the Chief Executive decides that is not reasonable).

Northern Territory Minimum Age Requirements

What is the minimum legal age of an employee?


A student can start part-time or casual work at any age in the Northern Territory. However, it is against the law for an employer or the student's parent to allow them to work at times or in a type of job that will make it harder for them learn at school, such as working late nights.


What hours can a student work?


It is against the law for an employer to employ a student or for their parents to let them work during hours that they are required to be at school. 

If they are under 15, it is against the law for their parents or an employer to let them  work after 10pm or before 6am or to do dangerous or damaging work.

When can a student work full-time?

A student can work full-time if they have completed year 10 and are 15 years old.

All too complicated?

Running a business is hard enough, if you want some advice on you can take advantage of the best type of funding, feel free to contact us.

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