Everyone is always excited to start their first job and begin earning money. But what is the minimum age of employment in Australia? With different states and territories having their laws and regulations regarding employment, it can get a bit confusing, so we have created a breakdown for each state. Whilst the rules are all quite similar, some variations should be recognised. This Business Kitz blog will bring you through the minimum age of employment in Australia.
What is the minimum age of employment in Australia?
The regulations for the minimum age of employment in Australia outlined below apply to all workers, including those who are embarking on apprenticeships and traineeships.
In Queensland, there is no minimum age required to work for family businesses and the entertainment industry, but the general minimum age is 13 years old. Depending on the business, they may also have their age requirements. If you’re 11 or older you can do delivery work for newspapers or pamphlets, but if you’re aged between 11 and 12 you are restricted from working from 6pm to 6am. If you’re younger than 16 you’re also required to get your parent’s consent to be able to work.
New South Wales
In New South Wales there is no minimum age for casual and part-time work, however, you are required to have completed year 10, be 17 or have permission from the Department of Education before you can start full-time employment. If you do want to participate in door-to-door sales, you must be at least 14 and 9 months old.
The general age of employment is 13 years but without a special permit, the minimum age is 15. If an employer wants to employ an individual under the age of 15, they are required to obtain permission from the child’s parents and therefore receive a child employment permit. An exception of family businesses and the entertainment industry apply to this rule.
There is no minimum age for part-time or casual employment in South Australia but children are prohibited from working during school hours. This rule applies to children aged between 6 and 16 years old. Employers are also restricted from rostering children during times that may render them unfit to attend school such as late nights or early mornings.
In the Northern Territory, there is no minimum age for employment but children are restricted from working during school hours and participating in work that affects their learning. Children under the age of 15 are also restricted from working between 10pm and 6am, and children under the age of 18 are restricted from participating in work that may be harmful to their physical, mental or emotional wellbeing or involves any exploitation.
Whilst there is no minimum age for participating in casual or part-time work, if the employee is below the age of 15, they are only allowed to participate in light work such as babysitting, running errands, gardening or clerical work. If the young person is also participating in more than 10 hours of work per week, the employer must notify Child and Youth Protection Services and they are required to obtain parental consent.
In Tasmania, there is no minimum age for an individual to start working, but there are limits on what type of work that individual can participate in. These limits are for work regarding performing and selling in public places. This means that children below the age of 11 are restricted from working in sales and individuals under 14 cannot sell anything between 9pm and 5am.
Individuals in Western Australia must be at least 15 years old to begin work unless they are working in a family business, the entertainment industry or are volunteering for charities or sporting clubs.
If you have any queries or are unsure about the minimum age of employment in your state, you should seek legal advice. Our sister company Legal Kitz can assist in determining whether you are of legal age for employment, or can assess your eligibility for an exception. Our Legal Kitz business specialists can assist with ensuring that your concerns are addressed and can provide you with advice that is tailored to your situation. You can book a free 30-minute consultation with our experienced and highly qualified team via our website now.