Companies who employ a child under the age of 15 years must en- sure they have applied for and received an employment permit. Children in the workplace need adequate supervision and thorough protection for such things as welfare threats, exploitation, health and safety compromises, and to ensure no educational cutbacks are demanded.

The Mandatory Code of Practice for the Employment of Children in Entertainment is a comprehensive document detailing provisions.


Child Employment Officers in your state are usually authorised to issue a work permit. Please note that a child employed under a per- mit must be directly supervised by the employer or a supervising adult. Adults who are not immediate family members must go through a check usually carried out by the state’s Department of Justice.

In general, the minimum age for employment is 13 years (11 years for certain employment options). However, for employment within the entertainment industry there is no minimum age. Children, in- cluding children working with their parents, are only permitted to perform ‘light’ work (hours of work are regulated under the Child Employment Act 2003).

They can be employed for a maximum of 3 hours per day, 12 hours per week during school terms, and a maximum of 6 hours per day, 30 hours per week during school holidays. Children can only be employed between the hours of 6.00 a.m. and 9.00 p.m. (street trading varies). Children must receive a minimum rest break of 30 minutes for every 3 hours worked, and there must be a minimum 12 hour break between finishing one shift and commencing the next.

An exemption is required for children working during school hours. Permit Checklist:

  • Employers apply for permits. Once the Application for Child Employment Permit is received by the parent (from the employer or Bubblegum), the parent or guardian is required to complete Sections 1 and 2 on the application to complete consent. If you have a scanner please scan the application and return via email, otherwise posting the completed application is fine.

  • A parent or guardian needs to complete a School Exemption Application if the work is during school hours (Principal or Registry Head will need to sign also). Employers may seek parental and school consent separately from the permit application.

  • Employers will keep supervising adults’ details on record; these details will not be included on the permit application.

  • Permits are valid for up to 24 months (only if the work is exclusively after school hours).

  • Permits will cover multiple children or multiple occa- sions for employment in certain circumstances.

  • A Blanket Permit is when a company gets a permit filled in for 12 months e.g. for catalogue or voice-over work.

In Victoria information regarding Child Employment Law changes and an Application for Child Employment Permit can be found on For additional details please phone the Helpline on 13 22 15.

In NSW you can contact the Office of the Children’s Guardian by visiting their website  or calling 02 8219 3600.
For other states please refer to your local government website.
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