With school holidays fast approaching, we often get asked by our clients, ‘how many hours can my junior staff work through the holidays?’

In Queensland, there are specific rules that apply to employing young people, through the Child Employment Act 2006 and the Child Employment Regulation 2016.

In general, for most roles, the minimum age of employment is 13. This is lowered to 11, in the case of junk mail delivery type jobs, completed between 6am – 6pm. Children, aged between 13 and under 16 are generally referred to in the Act and Regulations, as school-aged children. These children are required to be enrolled at school. They are not considered to be a school-aged child, if they are under 16 AND they have completed compulsory schooling (year 10), or for various other reasons, may not be required to be enrolled in school.

If you’re employing school-aged children these school holidays, you must not employ them until a Parental Consent Form [PDF 86KB] has been completed and returned. This form is required to be signed by the parent or guardian, with information completed about the hours the child is required to be at school. Should those hours change, a new form must be completed. The form should be kept by the employer as part of standard record keeping practices.

On a school day, a school-aged child must not work more than 4 hours. On days they are not required to attend school, they must not work more than 8 hours.

During a school week, a school-aged child must not work more than 12 hours in that week, which starts on a Sunday, in accordance with these laws.  During a non-school week, this is increased to a maximum of 38 hours.

They must always be given a one-hour break after 4 hours work (unless your industrial agreement specifies otherwise).

For further information, check out the relevant Business Queensland pages, or talk to one of our friendly team on 1300 766 380.

You may also find our blog, Planning for the Festive Season, useful at this time of year!