What employment means

Last update: 13 February 2023

In NSW, there are legal requirements when anyone pays a child to model or act.

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    What employment means

    The purpose of having legislation around employing children and young people is to make sure they are safe during their employment and that it doesn’t impact their schooling and development.

    You are employing a child if all 3 of these things is true:

    1. The child is performing in the entertainment, exhibition, still photography or modelling sectors.
    2. You are giving the child, or someone else, a payment or material benefit (goods and services in lieu of payment) at any point in time for the child’s services.
    3. You have some level of responsibility for casting a child in a role and for the directions given to that child to perform activities.


    Tertiary students who direct children to perform in entertainment or still photography as part of their studies are deemed to be employing children, even if the children are not being paid.

    Who is a child?

    A child is a performer who is under 15 years of age or a model who is under 16 years of age.

    The requirements for employing children are in place to keep the children safe while being employed. Details of each of these is below.

    Keeping children safe on site

    The purpose of having the legislation, forms and requirements around employing children is to do what we can to make sure the children have a positive experience at work. That they feel safe and protected. 

    To do this, everyone working with the young people needs to understand their role in creating this environment. 

    Employers need to comply with the Code of Practice, which sets out the requirements for providing safe work environments for young people.

    Everyone on site should know and understand what is expected and required from their behaviour, what risks there are and how these are being reduced or mitigated. 

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