Exemptions for minors on licensed premises

It is illegal for under 18s (minors) to be on licensed premises. However, the following are exemptions to this requirement:

  • the minor is a resident on the premises
  • the minor is working on the premises to perform duties as an employee of the owner, or occupier, in the conduct of a lawful business or while receiving training for employment or work experience (see below)
  • the minor is attending a function being held on the premises
  • the premises has a current community club licence, community other licence or restricted liquor permit, and the minor's presence does not contravene the club's rules or a condition of the licence or permit
  • the minor is on the premises for a purpose, and in circumstances, approved by the Commissioner for Liquor and Gaming or stated in a condition of the licence or permit
  • the minor is eating a meal on the premises or is accompanied by a responsible adult who is responsibly supervising the minor. But, if the minor is on the premises after 5pm, and the licence for the premises is a nightclub licence, then the exemption does not apply. In this case, the minor is not exempt even if eating a meal on the premises or in the company of a responsible adult.

It is important to note that all staff of licensed premises (including bar staff, contracted security, bottle shop attendants and restaurant staff) are responsible under the Liquor Act 1992 for ensuring minors (except exempted minors) do not enter or remain on licensed premises. Licensees must ensure their staff are aware of their obligations and the potential fines that may apply.

Minors working on licensed premises

Under the Liquor Act, children under the age of 18 may work in licensed premises; but they must not work in licensed premises that operate under an adult entertainment permit.

If your liquor licence does not include an adult entertainment permit, provisions of the Child Employment Regulation 2006 may also affect you. Specifically, minors are prohibited from:

  • being employed in licensed premises that feature activities such as topless waitressing
  • working while nude or partially nude
  • being exposed to inappropriate roles and situations, including being present while another person is nude or partially nude in the workplace.

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