Who is responsible when employing children

Last update: 22 March 2023

The employer is the person who has some 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 and work within the Children's Guardian Regulations.

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    Who is the employer

    The employer is the person who has a level of responsibility for casting a child and giving directions on what the child is required to do. They must hold an authority to employ children and comply with the Children's Guardian Regulation.

    Any tertiary student enrolled in an industry course who engages a child to perform tasks as part of their course work,  is an employer. This is the case whether the child is a volunteer,  paid or given material benefit. 

    Employers are 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 Guardian Regulation that they have to comply with.

    Specific responsibilities when representing children

    • 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 or between working for different employers
    • 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 6 years for each child
    • Supply information to parents
    • Record the employer’s authority number and expiry date as proof of your check each time you place a child in employment.


    Recording the Employers Authority or Exemption

    Allowing a child to start any work for an unauthorised employer can result in penalties of up to $11,000.

    • Check that you have the company name as recorded on their ABN registration, not the trading name 
    • If you still can't find the registration they are either unauthorised, exempt or their application is in progress
    • If the employer tells you they are exempt you should ask them to provide the letter of confirmation from us. The employer and performer representative are still required to comply with the Regulation as authorised employers
    • You can also contact us to confirm their status. Please mark as URGENT.


    Performer representative audit program

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

    Performer representatives are chosen randomly for audits throughout the year.

    Officers will ask to see all of your your records relating to the employment of children. We will talk with you about your processes and systems.

    The purpose of audits is to

    • make sure that children work for authorised or exempt employers
    • your records are maintained as required by the legislation.
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