John Bowler

John Bowler

Former Minister for Local Government; Employment Protection; Racing and Gaming; Goldfields-Esperance and Great Southern

    Employer prosecuted for improper employment of children

    29/11/2006 3:05 PM

    The State Government's commitment to ensure fairer, safer and more productive Western Australian workplaces took a step forward today, with the first prosecution of an employer for breaching the Children and Community Services Act.

    Employment Protection Minister John Bowler said Competitive Foods, trading as Kentucky Fried Chicken in WA, had been successfully prosecuted for working children aged less than 15 years outside the hours permitted by the Act at its Mirrabooka store during July 2006.

    “Children are our future and employers in this State need to comply with the legal requirement to employ young workers in a manner which protects their well-being, as well as their health and safety,” he said.

    Competitive Foods was fined a total of $3,000, comprising individual fines of $1,000 and $2,000 for the respective breaches, after pleading guilty to two charges of employing children under the age of 15 after 10pm. Competitive Foods was also ordered to pay $825.00 costs.

    “Employers have to remember that children have many important aspects to their lives, including attending school and there is no excuse for working children under the age of 15 after 10pm,” the Minister said.

    “The prosecution demonstrates the strengths of departmental co-operation, with the employment expertise of the Labour Relations Division of Department of Consumer and Employment Protection assisting the child well-being expertise of the Department of Community Development.

    “This decision shows the importance of the States being able to set appropriate laws for protecting employees.

    “In contrast to the Federal Government’s Work Choices legislation, the State Government is keen to ensure the well-being, health and safety of all workers and particularly vulnerable employees such as children.”

    Minister's office - 9222 9699