Hi, I'm Umi.
We all know kids are natural performers. Give us a blanket and a shampoo bottle and we'll create some magic.
# Lah! #
But if you need us for any advertising or entertainment purposes, and we're under 15 years of age, you'll need a permit.
Why? Because it tells the government that you're doing the right thing by us.
- risk management
- tutoring and
- working hours.
This all comes from the Child Employment Act and the Mandatory Code of Practice for the Employment of Children in Entertainment.
These were both designed to help kids, like me, be able to do the work we love, while still being safe and well looked after, and to ensure that our roles are appropriate and don't interrupt our education.
The good news is there are changes that make it easier and less costly for employers to comply.
We made sure to ask people like you how to improve things, and that's exactly what we did.
There's a new online system for applying for permits and once you fill it out, the permits are free.
Just make sure you have everything you need to show that I'll be safe at work, including permission from my mum and dad.
Also, if you need some help, you can always speak to my friends, the Child Employment Officers. They're really smart and will make sure you're well looked after.
Just go to business.vic.gov.au/childemployment
Or call 1800 287 287
OK, I'm ready for my close-up.
Maybe not THAT close!
Why checks are important
The purpose of the Victorian Working with Children Check (WWC check) is to protect children under 15 years who are employed or undertaking work experience within Victoria under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006.
The Working with Children Act (2005) – WWC Act – provides for a system of mandatory Victorian WWC checks into the criminal record of any person who will be directly supervising a child in the workplace.
Apply for a Victorian Working with Children Check
Under s19(b) of the WWC Act 2005 – unless exempt – the employer of children must ensure that Victorian WWC Checks have been conducted, and a Notice of Assessment issued prior to allowing a person to supervise a child under 15 years of age.
Parents, guardians and persons closely related to the child who employ their own children or family members don't have to submit to a Victorian WWC check.
Persons closely related to the child include an adult who is:
- a grandparent
Other exemptions from obtaining a Victorian WWC Check to supervise child employees include:
- a teacher who has a current registration with the Victorian Institute of Teaching
- a sworn Victorian state, or Australian Federal police officer who is not suspended from duty
- a person who is not an Australian citizen and not ordinarily resident in Australia, if they don't ordinarily engage in the supervision of working children in Victoria.
The first mentioned exemption would likely apply to any tutor you may employ to provide supervision and tutoring for children employed on a longer-term basis. It should be noted that other exemptions which appear in the WWC Act 2005 may not apply in the case of supervisors of children under the Child Employment Act 2003.
It should be noted that other exemptions which appear in the WWC Act 2005 may not apply in the case of supervisors of children under the Child Employment Act 2003.
For example, a supervisor of a child under 15 years who undertakes work experience as part of their secondary school program. The exemption stated in the WWC Act 2005 is not an exemption under the Child Employment Act.
If the child is under 15 years, a Victorian WWC Check (employee type) will be necessary.
If you're still not sure whether you're exempt, get in contact with a Wage Inspectorate Victoria child employment officer.
Supervision of children
- All people who directly supervise a child will be required to hold a current Victorian WWC Check (employee) – unless they're supervising their own child or family members. For more information, see our section on exemptions above.
- Victorian WWC Checks must be conducted before the commencement of the supervision of a child or whenever someone else becomes the child's supervisor.
- An employer of a child must ensure that a child is directly and adequately supervised at all times. A supervisor should be provided with appropriate training. In particular, the supervisor should be trained to recognise health and safety hazards including teasing, bullying and harassment.
- An employer must record the name and WWC Check number of any person that supervises a child in employment and present these to a child employment officer on request.
Requirement for supervisors in the Entertainment Industry
- An employer must ensure that the supervisor is not given other responsibilities that would prevent them from providing direct supervision.
- There are separate supervision requirements for babies under 12 weeks and children under 6 years.
Where a WWC Check reveals that a person has a criminal record, an assessment will be made as to whether that person can be issued with a Victorian WWC Check card. A person will not automatically be excluded on the basis of a criminal record.
Many offences will render a person unsuitable to hold a WWC Checkcard, including:
- sexual offences
- violence offences
- drug related offences
- offences against children.
If an assessment of unsuitability is made, the subject of the Check will be notified directly of this outcome and be informed of their right of review. They will be issued with an interim negative notice (INN) when this occurs.
A person cannot supervise a child in employment whilst they hold an INN. In the case of an unsuitable assessment made against a supervisor, the employer would be advised of the assessment but not the reasons for such an assessment.
Child Employment Officers appointed by the Secretary of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) will have access to the WWC Check should an INN or a negative notice (NN) be issued.
The results will be used solely for the purpose of issuing a Child Employment Permit.
An employer will be told that a supervisor has undertaken a WWC Check and if that Check is valid, or if they have been issued with an NN or an INN. Employers will not be told the details of the check.
How much does a Victorian WWC Check cost?
As fees change annually, check the current fee prior to submitting your application on the Working with Children Check Victoria website.
Alternatively, you can:
- call the Working with Children information line on 1300 652 879
- contact a participating Australia Post outlet.
Phone or email us for more information
Wage Inspectorate Victoria is responsible for monitoring compliance with the Child Employment Act 2003.
For further assistance and advice about employing children in Victoria, speak to a Wage Inspectorate officer by calling the Information Line on 1800 287 287, or send them an email.
We value your opinion
We welcome any feedback, comments and suggestions you might like to share.
You also have the option to make an anonymous report if you suspect someone is breaking the rules relating to child employment but you don’t want to provide personal information.