|Description of this FunctionDescription of this Function|
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 The Neglected Children's Act was superseded by the Children's Welfare Act in 1924.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Division 9 of Part II of the Social Welfare Act 1970 (No.8089) superseded the Children's Welfare Act with respect to the granting of permits and licences to authorize children to be engaged in employment or street trading as defined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.