Fast food giant McDonalds has been lashed by Western Australia’s commerce minister for illegally employing a 14-year-old girl working an overnight shift of nearly 15 hours.
Michael Mischin’s comments came after the company’s Australian arm was fined $15,000 last week in the Perth Industrial Magistrates’ Court for employing a child aged younger than 15 years to work at its Rockingham outlet, south of Perth, at times that were unlawful.
The court heard the child worked five separate shifts that were completed after 10pm (WST), in breach of the Children and Community Service Act.
Mr Mischin said he was appalled that the company employed the 14-year-old child in a long overnight shift, which was “well outside what is reasonable and lawful”.
“During one shift, the child commenced work at 3.21pm on a Saturday afternoon and did not conclude her shift until after 6am the following day,” he said.
“Consequently, the child worked a shift nearly 15 hours in duration, which included the prohibited hours of 10pm to 6am.
“A further shift was not completed until after midnight on a night preceding an ordinary school day.”
McDonalds was not immediately available for comment.