01:10 pm, Tuesday 11 December, 2012
Unions are calling on the South Australia Government to implement new laws to protect children from abuse at work.
SA Unions State Secretary, Janet Giles said SA currently does not have any child labour laws, which means there is no minimum age a child can legally begin work.
“That means there are no protections for children who are exposed to unsafe work, humiliated, harassed, degraded or ripped off – all forms of child abuse.”
“Our Young Workers Legal Service, which is releasing its annual report today, has had complaints from young people as young as 13 who have experienced issues like these at work.”
“We wouldn’t put up with these things happening to a child in their own home or at school – they shouldn’t be exposed to such abuse in their workplace either.”
According to Ms Giles, the State Government proposed Child Employment Legislation in 2007, but was not supported by the Oppositions and some of the minor parties in the Legislative Council.
“In the recent years, the State Government has strengthened the child protection system in South Australia, which we totally support.”
“We believe, for instance, that employers with a history of abusing young workers should be restricted or banned from employing young people in the future.”
“And we don’t believe that children under 18 should be working in high-risk construction work or in jobs with hazardous risks, like asbestos removal.”
“These children are not low-cost, disposable labour and should never be treated that way.”
“We want to see a legislated minimum working age of 14, with some exemptions for family businesses, the family farm or for work approved by the State Industrial Commission.”
“We believe these new laws are needed to make sure that young people have enough time to study, engage in sports and other social activities and to simply be children.”
Haydee - Do you have an OHS News Story -
Let us know