5 fast food employers charged for illegally employing children
A further five employers from the fast food industry have faced the Perth Industrial Magistrate's Court for allegedly breaching the Children in Employment laws contained in the Children and Community Services Act 2004.
Two of the employers concerned pleaded guilty and were fined a total of $29,500 by Magistrate Cicchini.
John Frankham Pty Ltd, which operates the McDonald’s franchises in Busselton and Falcon, was fined $27,000 for employing 24 children under the age of 15 years in 88 shifts of work outside the hours restricted by the Act.
Genesis Australasia (Victoria) Pty Ltd, which operates Pizza Hut Noranda, was fined $2,500 for employing a child aged 13 years on 24 occasions after 10pm.
The Department of Consumer and Employment Protection Labour Relations Division, which prosecuted the case, has expressed disappointment about the actions of these employers.
Compliance and Education Director Bob Horstman said that under the Act employers in the fast food industry were not permitted to employ children aged between 13 and 15 years in shifts of work that start prior to 6am or finish after 10pm.
Horstman said the actions of these employers, all of whom had received education from the department over the previous 18 months, showed an apparent disregard for the law, which is designed to protect the welfare and safety of children in employment.
“The Department sent a letter of warning to these employers in June 2006 outlining the laws and giving them time to ensure their rostering of workers complied,” Horstman said.
“What is most concerning about this case is the fact that the employers made no effective effort to correct their actions.”
The prosecutions relating to the remaining three employers have been adjourned to 20 December 2007.
Klepeach Nominees Pty Ltd, which operates the McDonalds franchises in Success and Spearwood, has been charged with employing 37 children under the age of 15 years in breach of the requirements of the CCS Act.
Kandoo Investments Pty Ltd, which operates the McDonalds franchises in Currambine, Joondalup and Mindarie, has been charged with employing 25 children under the age of 15 years in breach of the requirements of the CCS Act.
Matanza Pty Ltd, which operates Eagle Boys Karratha, has been charged with employing four children under the age of 13 years in breach of the requirements of the CCS Act.
“The investigations began after multiple complaints were made to the Department’s Wageline service about the working conditions of child employees.” Horstman said.
Employers are encouraged to contact Wageline on 1300 655 266 to check their employment obligations.
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