Legal age to work in SA

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Most teenagers look forward to gaining some independence during their teenage years, with possibilities ranging from driving their own car, to having their own job. So what is the legal age to work in SA? This article will tell you all you need to know what to expect when hiring teenagers, or applying for jobs as a teenager.

What is the legal age to work in SA?

According to SafeWork SA, there is no minimum age for when an employee can begin working in South Australia. This regulation varies across the country and within different industries, as most industries and subsequent companies will not hire a person below the age of 13. Although this may be surprising, there are still rules surrounding the employment relationship for students enrolled in school.

What are the rules for students working in SA?

If you are a student aged from 6-16 years, an employer cannot roster you on to work, as it is against the law. Additionally, a student is not permitted to work at a time that is likely to render them unfit to attend school (such as early in the morning or late at night). These laws are not blanket, and are instead regulated on a case by case basis.

Can I employ a high-school aged student to work in the bar for my business?

Although some companies engage their own minimum working age that is blanket across their franchise (eg. Woolworths generally hires individuals aged 15 years and over), there are awards and agreements regulating the hiring within industry sectors such as liquor licensing and mining. These laws are intended to protect the student from the reality of the relevant job. The SA Government has deemed it illegal to employ a student to sell, supply or serve alcohol unless the minor is 16 years or older, is the child of the person responsible for the venue and lives on the premises. If the child does not live on the premises, the licensee can request approval from Consumer and Business Services through Liquor and Gaming Online

When can a teenager begin working full-time?

A teenager can begin working full time in SA once they are:

  • 17 years of age; or
  • 16 and have their years 12 qualification from a high school, or a certificate 2 qualification from either TAFE, an apprenticeship, a traineeship or university; or
  • 16 and their full time work is either an apprenticeship or traineeship undertaken in conjunction with an approved learning program.

Legal advice

If you need further information regarding the legal age to work in South Australia, our friendly and experienced legal team is here to help! We offer a FREE 30-minute consultation for all of your employment queries. Additionally, our sister company Business Kitz offers a subscription-based plan with over 150+ legally compliant documents, with many being employment related. Click here to book your free consultation, or click here to check out Business Kitz’ subscription.

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