In a recent development, the Red Rooster franchise located in Wodonga has come under scrutiny as it faces a staggering 355 charges from Victoria's Child Employment Watchdog.
The allegations suggest the franchise employed ten children under 15 without the necessary permits. This incident is just one among several cases that have led to increased discussions around the employment of teenagers and the need to reassess current laws. One Nation Victoria MP, Rikkie-Lee Tyrrell, acknowledges the importance of safeguarding children but emphasizes the potential benefits of early part-time employment for teenagers. Let’s delve into the topic, exploring the advantages, safeguards, and the possibility of allowing younger people to work.
The Importance of Part-Time Jobs for Teenagers:
Mrs Tyrrell recognises the value of teenagers having their first part-time job, citing its invaluable benefits. Beyond monetary compensation, such employment instils essential work ethics and a sense of purpose and encourages the development of professional relationships. Moreover, it provides teenagers with a basic understanding of business and economics through financial incentives, and skill sets that may not be adequately covered in the school curriculum alone.
Calls for Reassessment:
While acknowledging the necessity of safeguarding children in the workforce, Tyrrell suggests evaluating existing teenage employment laws. Not all young individuals can work as she did on a family farm or in a family business. By imposing restrictions on maximum working hours to prevent exploitation and ensuring appropriate measures such as working with children checks and training, lowering the age bracket to 13 years old could provide numerous benefits.
Safeguards to Protect Teenagers:
Mrs Tyrrell emphasises the importance of implementing safeguards to protect the well-being and rights of teenagers. Restricting working hours can prevent potential abuse and ensure teenagers balance work and other commitments like education. Additionally, enforcing thorough working with children checks and providing training programs will help create a safer and more secure working environment for young employees.
Lowering the minimum age for employment can be seen as a win-win situation. Teenagers eager to earn a few extra dollars can gain valuable work experience and financial independence. Simultaneously, employers can tap into this talent pool to meet their labour needs, benefitting from the enthusiasm, energy, and fresh perspectives that young employees often bring.
The recent charges brought against the Red Rooster franchise in Wodonga highlight the need to reassess current teenage employment laws. While protecting children in the workforce is essential, the potential benefits of part-time employment for teenagers should not be overlooked. By implementing appropriate safeguards, such as restrictions on working hours, thorough background checks, and training programs, it is possible to create a safe and enriching environment for young employees. With proper regulations, lowering the age bracket to 13 years old can provide teenagers with valuable life skills and offer employers access to a motivated and capable workforce. As the discussion continues, it is crucial to balance safeguarding young individuals and empowering them through suitable employment opportunities.