Function VF 267
Employment of children
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  • Use this Function for
    Childrens employment Labour

  • Do not use this Function for
    Employment in general

Description of this FunctionDescription of this Function
Background The Neglected Children's Act 1887 (51 Vic.,No 941) provided for penalties to be imposed on anyone employing a child under a certain age (the age at which attendance at school ceased to be compulsory by law) who was not registered. Application for registration of a child was to be made by a parent or guardian to a Clerk of Petty Sessions and required the furnishing of a certificate from a school inspector or headmaster confirming the child had been educated to the correct standard. Registration was for one year only. The Neglected Children's Act was superseded by the Children's Welfare Act in 1924. In 1925 the Street Trading Act 1925 introduced the regulation of males under 12 and females under 21 with respect to street trading. By 1954 the Children's Welfare Act provided for the prohibition of employing children other than those holding a permit issued by the Director of the Children's Welfare Department. At this time the regulation of child employment was extended to cover employment of children in public entertainment. Division 9 of Part II of the Social Welfare Act 1970 (No.8089) superseded the Children's Welfare Act with respect to the granting of permits and licences to authorize children to be engaged in employment or street trading as defined by the Act. In September 1987 responsibility for the sections of the Community Welfare Services Act 1970 relating to the employment of children was transferred by Administrative Arrangement Order (No.54) from the Minister for Community Services to the Minister for Labour. In October 1992 responsibility was transferred from the Minister for Labour (VRG 86) to the Minister for Industry and Employment (VRG 116) and then in December 1992 to the Minister for Industry Services (VRG 108). From 1996 to 1999 the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology had responsibility which was transferred to the Minister for Industrial Relations in 1999. In 2003, the Child Employment Act 2003 (No. 81/2003) was passed. It provided an overview of the general working conditions for children under 15 and set out other requirements, including the need for police checks and permits, penalties that applied to any offence related to the employment of children, and exemptions to the Act. Responsibility for administering this Act remained with the Minister for Industrial Relations.
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    Youth affairs VF 203
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Other InformationOther Information
Agencies with prime responsibility for this FunctionAgencies with prime responsibility for this Function
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Date of Responsibility Agency Title Agency Number
- 1961 Children's Welfare Department 1924-1961 (previously known as Department for Neglected Children 1887-1924), Chief Secretary's Department VA 1467
1961 - 1971 Social Welfare Branch, Chief Secretary's Department VA 2784
1971 - 1979 Social Welfare Department VA 946
1979 - 1985 Department of Community Welfare Services VA 613
1985 - 1987 Department of Community Services (also known as Community Services Victoria) VA 2633
1987 - 1992 Department of Labour II (known as Department of Employment and Industrial Affairs 1985-1986) VA 2777
1992 - 1996 Department of Business and Employment VA 3096
1996 - 1999 Department of State Development II VA 3973
1999 - 2002 Department of State and Regional Development VA 4189
2002 - 2010 Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development VA 4564
2010 - 2013 Department of Business and Innovation VA 4925
2013 - 2014 Department of State Development, Business and Innovation VA 5001
2015 - cont Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources VA 5034
Other Agencies responsible for this FunctionOther Agencies responsible for this Function
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Date of Responsibility Agency Title Agency Number
Groups related to this FunctionGroups related to this Function
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Date of Responsibility Group Title Group Number
- 1970 Chief Secretary VRG 26
1970 - 1985 Community Welfare Services VRG 60
1985 - 1987 Community Services VRG 80
1987 - 1992 Labour and Industry VRG 42
1992 - 1992 Industry and Employment VRG 116
1996 - 1999 Industry, Science and Technology VRG 124