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Wodonga Food Pty Ltd, operating a Red Rooster outlet in Wodonga, Victoria, has been fined $5,500 and $4,000 in court costs for violating child labour laws, avoiding conviction after a guilty plea.
Details of the Incident
Victoria’s child employment watchdog identified 29 charges involving 10 children under 15, across 169 occasions in 2022, for offences including employing children for shifts longer than three hours or past 9pm, failing to provide adult supervision with a valid Working With Children clearance, and employing a child without a permit.
The investigation, initially encompassing 355 charges, revealed the franchise’s failure to adhere to Victorian child employment regulations, attributed to ignorance of state-specific laws rather than deliberate non-compliance.
Court’s Decision and Impact on Victims
Magistrate Timothy Gattuso highlighted the leniency towards the franchise’s ignorance of Victorian laws, contrasting with its compliance in NSW. The case underscores the importance of franchisors providing accurate information to franchisees to prevent legal violations across different jurisdictions.