Back to school essential information – when children can work

WA Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety

Western Australia’s laws about when children can work apply during both school terms and in school holidays.

Children of compulsory school age are not permitted to work during the hours when the child is required to attend school (or otherwise participate in an educational program of school).

There are restrictions on the type of job and working hours for children under 15 years of age. These laws apply to Western Australian businesses in both the state and national industrial relations systems.

Children aged 13 and 14 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;
  • the job is outside school hours; and
  • they do not start work before 6.00am or finish after 10.00pm.

Children aged 10, 11 or 12 are allowed to deliver newspapers, pamphlets or advertising material, but they:

  • cannot work during school hours;
  • cannot start work before 6.00am or finish later than 7.00pm; and
  • must be accompanied at all times by a parent, or another adult who has written permission from a parent.

As long as the work does not prevent school attendance, children of any age can:

  • work in a family business owned by a relative such as a parent, aunt, uncle or grandparent
  • perform professionally as an actor, musician, entertainer or in an advertisement
  • work for charities and other not-for-profit organisations.

For more essential information visit the When children can work in Western Australia page.

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