Our working teens: Minimum working age in Australia by state

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Minimum working age in Australia by state

If your teen is ready for a job (or if, perhaps, you are ready for your teen to be ready for a job), there are quite a few factors to consider. The first is, of course, whether your child is legally able to work in Australia, the minimum working age in Australia varies from state to state, so that’s what we’ll focus on here.

Other important factors include whether your teen is emotionally ready to take on the responsibility of a job; whether they have time available to commit to an employer; and whether they have the maturity required to make the most of the opportunity.


See here for more info: Benefits of jobs for teens (and a few cons too)


Minimum working age in Australia by state - Work and teens: are they ready?

Minimum working age in Australia

Many people consider that 14 and nine months is the minimum working age around Australia, but that’s actually not the case. This age is probably a hangover from when 14 and nine months was the minimum age for a kid to leave school. In most states, there is actually no minimum age for work, although there are restrictions when kids are under 15.

Minimum age for kids to work part-time in Australia by state

State Part-time work minimum age
ACT None.

Exceptions:

•  You cannot work more than 10 hours a week if you are under 15.

•  You cannot work before 6am or after 10pm

•  Written permission from legal guardian is required for children under 15.

•  Minimum age 14 and 9 months for door-to-door sales work.

Find out more here.

QLD 13 years.

Exceptions:

•  Children can deliver newspapers and advertising leaflets from the age of 11, but they can’t do delivery work between 6.00pm and 6.00am until they are 13.

•  Kids can work a maximum of 4 hours on a school day and 12 hours in a school week when school is in session.

Find out more here.

NSW
None.

Exceptions:

•  If under 15 and employed in entertainment, a photography business or door-to-door selling, or under 16 and employed as a model, the employer must hold an employer’s authority as per the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (NSW).

Find out more here.

NT None.

Exceptions:

•  You can’t work between 10pm and 6am if under 15.

Find out more here.

SA None.

Exceptions:

•  Job must not interfere with school or take place during school hours.

Find out more here.

TAS None.Exception:

•  Cannot work during school hours.

Find out more here.

VIC 13 years.

Exceptions:

•  Children can deliver newspapers and advertising leaflets from the age of 11.

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

•  A child needs a permit to work if they are under 15.

•  Start time no earlier than 6am, finish time no later than 9am.

•  Children can be employed for a maximum of three hours on a school day and no more than 12 hours during school term time.

Find out more here.

WA Parental/adult supervision required from 10-12 years; written permission required from 13- 14 years.

Exceptions:

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

•  Children aged 10- 12 years are allowed to deliver newspapers, pamphlets or advertising material when fully supervised by a parent or other adult who has written authority from the parent.

•  Children aged 13-14 years are allowed to deliver newspapers, pamphlets or advertising material, work in a shop, fast food outlet, cafe, restaurant or collect shopping trolleys from a retail outlet or adjacent area ​as long as they have written permission from a parent.

Find out more here.

Minimum age for employers may vary

Bear in mind that while the government is happy for kids under 15 to get a job, many  employers have their own age guidelines.The minimum working age in Australia is therefore often set by individual businesses, not the government.Here are some larger employer guidelines, but check at stores in your local area as there are all kinds of jobs for teens offered by small businesses. 

Aldi has a minimum age of 18 years.

Dymocks follows state government age restrictions.

EB Games has a minimum age of 16 years.

Event Cinemas follows state government age restrictions.

Hoyts has a minimum age of 15 years (16 years in SA).

JB Hi-Fi follows state government age restrictions.

Kmart and Coles generally follows the government outline for recommended age, although this varies from store to store.

KFC follows state government age requirements.

McDonalds has a minimum age of 14 years, with written permission from the teen’s legal guardian.

Rebel (and other Super Retail Group stores like BCF and SuperCheap Auto) follow state government age requirements.

Subway varies from store to store, but generally follows state government age requirements.

Supre follows the state government age requirements.

Woolworths and Big W sticks with the old 14 years and nine months, although you have to be 15 years in Victoria and Tasmania.

Further reading

Just because a teen turns the ‘right age’ for a job, doesn’t mean they are ready. Starting work too early when there is not the necessity of earning money to motivate a kid, can be  a disaster. We discuss the pros and cons of jobs for teens here.

Do you think the minimum age is fair in your state?

Image by Alexandre Godreau 

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Written by Bron Maxabella

Bron is the founder of Mumlyfe and is so happy to welcome you here. Bron has been writing in the Australian parenting space as Maxabella for more than seven years and is mum to three mostly happy kids and wife to one mostly happy husband. Mostly happy is a win, right?

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