An Australian Muffin Break store could face millions of dollars of fines over alleged breaches of child employment laws last year.
The store in suburban Melbourne is accused of failing to provide proper rest breaks for children aged under 15, and for rostering shifts longer than what is legally allowed.
The charges were brought by the Victorian Wage Inspectorate. This is the state’s child employment watchdog.
Has Muffin Break broken child employment laws?
The store is accused of several breaches of child employment laws between March and October 2022.
This includes employing three children aged under 15 without obtaining the proper child work permit on 111 different shifts. They’ve also been accused of failing to provide proper supervision and rest breaks.
The Wage Inspectorate said they had also rostered children on for over three hours a day during the school term, and for over six hours a day during school holidays. This is above the number of hours a child is legally allowed to work in Victoria.
What’s next for Muffin Break?
The matter will now be subject to court proceedings. It’s therefore been listed in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court for June.
The maximum penalty for each of the 360 breaches is over $18,000. This means over $6.5 million in fines could potentially be issued for the breaches.
TDA has contacted Muffin Break for comment.