As one of the largest employers in Australia and a significant employer of school age teenagers, Coles is a common first time job for those looking to enter the workforce. This commonly leads to the question to whether there is a minimum age requirement to work for Coles? This article will help you better understand how old you have to be to work at Coles.
How old do you have to be to be employed in Australia?
In Australia employment laws are for the most part managed on a State level, with each State or Territory government determining the minimum work conditions including minimum age of employment. This does create a variance with some States having an effective no minimum age for employment, whilst others having set ages. The general age that most Australians can work in Australia is 13 however – where you will be able to begin working with limited duties which include low levels of physical activity or responsibilities.
Certain types of employment are limited to those under 18 which include professional sales roles, working in industrial or construction or roles which require the worker to be away from their residence or work alone at night.
Do some workplaces have different age requirements for their employees?
Outside of the legislative requirements on restricting work based on age, many workplaces will also have age requirements for their staff. These roles will generally be based on the provision of products or services that only an adult can purchase or have significant safety requirements. An example of this would include the sale of tobacco products or providing legal or financial advice – where you would need to be at least 18 years of age.
It is important to note however that workplaces can only put age requirements on roles when the legislation allows for this – so arbitrary age limits (for both minimum and maximum ages) cannot be used otherwise they can risk breaching employment anti-discrimination laws.
How old do you have to be to work at Coles?
For most roles Coles will employee any person who is legally able to work in their State or Territory of Australia within their supermarket division – which is generally 13 or 14 years old. Certain roles within the supermarket chains may be restricted to those of a certain age – including early opens, selling cigarettes and some technical roles such as butchers within stores with onsite butchering.
Coles also operates a warehouse division of staff with over 10,000 staff across their network which have their own employment requirements. Whilst there isn’t any specific restrictions noted on employment in the Coles logistics section, in general because of requirements needed for 24/7 rostering, fulltime availability and many tasks requiring either a forklift licence or the operation of heavy equipment it is more likely that this role is suitable for school leavers looking for ongoing employment than after school work.
So if you’re looking for your first job during high school, Coles can be an excellent entry level role where you can develop your skills and gain valuable experience which you can use on your resume. Just check your local jurisdictions minimum age laws to understand whether you can apply to work at Coles.