Qld children protected by new work laws

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Qld children protected by new work laws

Children employed in Queensland will have the kind of work they do and the hours they work regulated by new laws from the end of this month.

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Children employed in Queensland will have the kind of work they do and the hours they work regulated by new laws from the end of this month.

The new laws:

  • protect school-aged children from performing work that may be harmful to their health and safety, or that compromises their mental, moral or social welfare;
  • limit the hours of work for school-aged children to ensure that their studies aren't adversely affected by employment.

The laws define a school-aged child as a child under the age of 16 who has not yet completed year 10 at school. The new laws set the age at which children can work at 13, although those between 11 and 13 can perform supervised delivery work for items such as newspapers and advertising leaflets.

Maximum allowable hours of work for school-aged children are: On a school day 4, on a non-school day 8, during a school week 12 and during a non-school week 38. Also, children between 11 and 13 are not allowed to work between 6pm and 6am, while all other school-aged children are not allowed to work between 10pm and 6am.

Doesn't apply to family business

However the restrictions relating to age and hours of work do not apply where the child is employed in their family's business or in the entertainment industry. Separate regulations will cover children working in the entertainment industry.

The Act does not regulate work carried out as part of:

  • work experience
  • vocational placements
  • apprenticeships
  • traineeships
  • charitable collections covered by other legislation.

Penalties apply for employers who do not comply with the law, and enforcement is performed by Department of Industrial Relations' inspectors.

Parents must provide a Parent's Consent Form to their child's employer before employment can occur.

Protection provisions

Employers must take reasonable steps to ensure that while a child is at work the child is not subjected to deliberate or unnecessary social isolation, or to any other behaviour likely to intimidate, threaten, frighten or humiliate the child.

Unless an industrial instrument provides otherwise, a school-aged or young child:

  • must not work more than one shift on a single day.
  • must be given at least a one hour break after the end of the fourth hour of work.
If a child can no longer work due to illness or injury, employers must take all reasonable measures to contact a parent of the child. They must also take reasonable measures to ensure that the child is able to contact his/her parents while at work.

Related

New rules for employing NSW kids

Victorian child employment laws in force

Employing young persons - school summer holidays

  

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