There are new laws to ensure school students aren't working too many hours, which can disrupt their schooling, or be harmful to their health and safety.
School-aged students (those under 16 years and still to complete Year 10) now need written parental consent to undertake work (whether paid or unpaid). Parental consent is not required for work in a family business.
A school-aged student can work a maximum of 12 hours during a school week (starting on Sunday) and a maximum of 38 hours during a non-school week. Students can work a maximum of four hours on a school day and a maximum of eight hours on a non-school day. Restrictions regarding work hours have also been introduced, with school-aged students not allowed to work between 10pm and 6am.
The Child Employment Act 2006 offers students greater protection from workplace exploitation and ensures their studies are not adversely affected, without denying students the positive learning experience of part-time work.
Employers are required to obtain a parent's consent form on which the parent needs to stipulate the hours the student is required to be at school. The employer is legally required to keep the consent form on file.