The parents' guide to casual and part-time jobs

An after-school or weekend job is a rite of passage for many students helping teach them responsibility and independence and providing some disposable income for social outings or wish list items. If your child is thinking about taking their first step into the workforce, read on as we answer a few common questions.

What types of jobs are out there?

Traditionally, the two main industries that employ school-aged workers are hospitality and retail, with students working as sales assistants, cooks, kitchen hands, cashiers and front counter staff. Most of these jobs are casual, although there are a handful of part-time options around. Your child may also consider undertaking a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship, which allows them to complete training and paid employment at the same time. For younger students, babysitting or sports umpiring provides a good introduction to the world of work.

Where can my child look for work?

Most of the main job search websites offer a filter for casual jobs, allowing students to search for jobs in their local area. Students can also visit the SpotJobs website, which specialises in entry-level and casual jobs. They may also find jobs of interest on individual organisation websites, with some even allowing jobseekers to set up a profile and receive job alerts if any relevant roles become available. Finally, the school career adviser is usually a good source of information, particularly for help securing an apprenticeship or traineeship.

At what age can my child start work?

Most states have no set minimum age for when students can start work, but there are restrictions for those aged under 15. These may include restrictions on working times (not overnight or during school hours), limitations on the type of work that can be performed (light work only) and a cap on weekly hours.

What are my child's rights and entitlements?

While casual employees have fewer entitlements than full-time or part-time workers (they don't receive paid annual or sick leave and have no guaranteed hours of work), there are still a number of conditions that employers must adhere to. Once your child secures a job, they should receive a contract that outlines their rate of pay, whether they receive penalty rates (many industries have higher rates of pay on weekends, nights and public holidays), hours of work, tasks and responsibilities, expected conduct and uniform requirements. See the Fair Work Ombudsman website for more information, including minimum rates of pay and conditions for each award.

Useful links:

Popular schools
Browse more schools

Become a member

Already a member? LoginForgot password?

Join the conversation