There is no minimum working age in South Australia.

This means that a child of any age may undertake paid employment. For example, a newsagent may choose to employ a child of 12 to deliver newspapers before school.


  • a child of compulsory school age (between 6 and 16 years of age) cannot be employed during the hours that they are required to attend school or to participate in an approved learning program (as the case requires)
  • a child may not work at a time, such as late at night or early in the morning, that is likely to render them unfit to attend school or obtain the proper benefit from attendance.

Some businesses may set their own minimum working age and these may differ from business to business. For example, a fast food outlet may choose not to employ children under the age of 14.

Some awards and agreements or other laws, such as those relating to liquor licencing and mining, can contain provisions that prohibit or restrict the duties for those under a certain age.

Students aged 15 and 16 can apply for a permanent exemption from school for employment reasons. Any exemption requests should be discussed with the school principal.

Further information

Industrial relations system

Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)

Education and Children’s Services Act 2019 (SA) (section 74)