Who is responsible when employing children

Last update: 12 September 2022

The employer is the person who has a level of responsibility for casting the child and giving directions on what the child is required to do.

The responsible person must hold an Authority to employ children along with other requirements.

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    Who is the employer

    The employer is the person who has a level of responsibility for casting the child and giving directions on what the child is required to do.

    The responsible person must hold an Authority to employ children along with other requirements.

    Any tertiary student enrolled in an industry course and directing children to perform tasks requires an authority and needs to comply with the children’s employment requirements as the employer.

    The employer is responsible for following the legislative and regulatory requirements when employing a child. 

     

    Information for performer representatives

    While performer representatives don’t normally employ children, there are some sections of the Children’s Employment laws that they are required to comply with when arranging work for a child.


    Specific responsibilities when representing children

    Performer representatives need to check and record the employer authority number each time a child is employed:

    • Allowing a child to start any work for an unauthorised employer can result in penalties of up to $11,000
    • Record the employer’s authority number and expiry date as proof of your check each time you place a child in employment
    • The authority is issued to the entity name that is registered with the company’s ABN

     

    There are several ways you can check an Authority number:

    • Ask the employer to give you a copy of their authority certificate before you release the children for work. The authority certificate is usually issued to the principal officer or a director of the company. 
    • Look up the register of authorised employers on the OCG website and note the authority number and expiry date.

     

    An email from the employer from us does not necessarily mean they have a current Authority to employ children. You will still need to confirm by either of the two ways above. 

     

    What if I can’t find the authority on the register?

    • Check that you have the employer’s registered company name, rather than their trading name.
    • If the employer is not on the register they may be in the process of renewing, or they are not authorised.
    • You can contact us to confirm their status. Mark your email as URGENT authority check.
    • The employer may be exempt from the requirement to hold an authority. You can ask them to provide a letter of confirmation from us. The employer and performer representative are still required to comply with all of the children’s employment laws. 

     

    Make sure the child is employed within the requirements:

    • Book children for allowable hours of work only
    • Ensure a child works one shift per day. Performer representatives can request a variation for a child to work more than one shift with different employers, if the schedule is considered to be reasonable.
    • Ensure a minimum of 12 hours break between shifts
    • Ensure a child works a combination of no more than 50 hours of employment activities and schooling in a week
    • Ensure a child does not work for more than 5 consecutive days for one or more employers
    • Keep records securely for six years for each child
    • Supply information to parents

     

    Performer representative audit program

    If you arrange work for a child in NSW, the Office of the Children’s Guardian may contact you to carry out an audit of your records.

    Audits are conducted regularly with randomly selected performer representatives throughout the year.

    Officers will request to inspect your records relating to the employment of children and talk to you about your processes and systems.

    The purpose of audits is to make sure that children work for authorised employers only.

    The audit will also confirm that your records are maintained as required by the legislation.

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