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New rules for employing children in entertainment and modelling

17 December 2015

Children and young people who work in the film, television, entertainment, still photography and modelling industries will be protected under a new Regulation and Code of Practice that starts today.

“The new Regulation aims to provide greater flexibility for both employers and workers while encouraging child safe environments,” said NSW Children’s Guardian Kerryn Boland.

“While many employers have a strong interest in complying with their legislative obligations the Regulation helps to protect the safety, health and wellbeing of younger workers.”

Key changes in the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) (Child Employment) Regulation 2015 includes:

  • a broader range of Employer Authorities to choose from - one week, three months and six months
  • extending protections for children to include student productions  (these will require an Employer Authority but at no cost)
  • requiring employers to comply with the Regulation’s Code of Practice to paid and unpaid child employees, when there is a mix of both
  • greater flexibility around employers providing break times to children
  • lengthening the hours during which children can be employed for live performances
  • improved clarity around employment record keeping requirements
  • requiring performer representatives to comply with the hours of work provisions
  • new financial penalties for breaches of the Regulation.

Ms Boland said the Regulation would also protect children who have volunteered to work ‘on set’ in situations where there are children being paid for their services.

“Children working in the creative arts industries make an important contribution to the creative arts and in turn benefit from their involvement in the industry,” Ms Boland said.

“The new Regulation provides a protective shield for these children who are attracted to work in ‘glamorous’ industries where they may be more vulnerable to exploitation.

“It will work to balance the needs of employers while encouraging the child safe practices that help to protect the children and young people who work in these industries.”

The Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) (Child Employment) Regulation 2015 was developed following extensive consultations with the sector by the Office of the Children’s Guardian.

Read more about the changes.