Muffin Break ex-franchisee guilty of child employment breaches

Muffin Break child employment
Muffin Break store. (Source: Inside Retail)

A former Muffin Break franchisee has been convicted for breaches of child employment laws, and fined $10,000.

In sentencing at Melbourne’s Magistrate Court, Magistrate Malcolm Thomas said a more severe penalty would have been handed down if the company had not pleaded guilty early on.

The state’s child employment watchdog, Wage Inspectorate Victoria, alleged 360 criminal charges.

Rianshi Pty Ltd, trading as Muffin Break (Southland), pleaded guilty to hiring three children aged under 15 without a licence.

The Muffin Break store did not have work permits for the children, who worked shifts on 111 occasions last year.

Now, under recent changes to employment law, only one permit is required to employ multiple children.

Rianshi also failed to properly supervise the children, who worked for longer hours than allowed without a break.

Muffin Break emphasises workplace compliance

In a statement, a Muffin Break spokesperson said the franchisor takes any breaches of workplace employment practices very seriously.

“Whilst we appreciate the franchisees are ultimately the employer of employees working at each franchised site, Muffin Break is committed to ensuring franchisees are aware and compliant with their workplace employment obligations, and we will continue to provide training and carry out audits to ensure franchisees fulfil their obligations.”