The Protecting Child Performers Act, 2015 (the “Act”) came into force on February 5, 2016. The Act regulates the employment of children under 18 years of age who work as performers in the entertainment industry. The Act applies to employers providing live entertainment in a theatre, dance, music, opera or a circus. It also applies to employers engaged in the production of visual or audio-visual “recorded entertainment” (including commercials) intended to be replayed in cinemas, on TV, the Internet, the radio, or a device such as a VCR or DVD player.

The Act extends certain workplace safety and employment rights to child performers. TheAct also sets out specific rules that employers of child performers are required to follow. These include rules regarding hours of work, breaks, overtime, income protection, tutoring, travel, minimum age of child performers, work refusals, and the provision of healthy food to child performers.

Child performers and their parents/guardians can file complaints with Employment Standards Officers to seek compliance with the Act. Failure to comply with the Act may also result in prosecution, with the potential for the imposition of fines and even a term of imprisonment.