Victorian Bakery charged with breaches of child em...

Victorian Bakery charged with breaches of child employment laws

A teenage girl stands at a kitchen sink wearing an apron and cleaning a plate (child employment)

Cobb’s Bakery in Port Fairy has landed itself in strife over failing to comply with Victorian child employment laws. The Victorian Wage Inspectorate recently filed charges against the bakery, with the matter set to go before the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on 13 January 2023.

The Inspectorate has said it will not make further comment while the matter is before the court.

The allegations against the bakery state that its operators employed four children under the age of 15 without a permit. In Victoria, children under the age of 15 are unable to work without a permit.

They also provided false or misleading information to a child employment officer. In addition to this, the Inspectorate will allege that Cobb’s Bakery failed to ensure the children were supervised by a person with a Working with Children Check clearance.

Each offence the bakery is charged with could land them with a maximum penalty of over $18,000 (or 100 penalty units), meaning that, if Cobb’s is found guilty of every offence charged, it could face a fine of more than $160,000.

This comes on the back of a variety of charges that have been laid against businesses for failing to comply with child employment laws across the state.

Across Victoria, a pharmacy, a fish and chip shop, a digital learning company, and a cafe have all been charged with offences related to the breaching of child employment laws, with some businesses pleading guilty and other matters still ongoing.

Child labour and employment laws are different across the country, so it is important to be aware of the laws and regulations in your state so that you can ensure that you are complying with them.

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