Recent Working Working With Children Amendments in NSW

Child Protection (Working with Children) Amendment (Statutory Review) Bill 2018 (NSW)

This alert applies to organisations that conduct child-related work and will likely amend the NSW – Working with Children module.

Please be advised that the Child Protection (Working with Children) Amendment (Statutory Review) Bill 2018 (NSW) (the Bill) passed its Third Reading in Parliament on 11 April 2018 and is now awaiting Royal Assent. The Bill is due to commence on a date to be proclaimed.

The object of the Bill is to amend the Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012 (NSW) (the Act) to make further provision for checks for the purposes of working with children, following a statutory review of the Act.

Relevantly, the Bill will amend section 6 of the Act to change the definition of child-related work (being the work for which a working with children check clearance is required), so that direct contact with children must be a usual part of and more than incidental to the work. This change was recommended by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The Bill will also replace section 9 to make it an offence for an employer to fail to obtain and verify the details of a worker who is employed to work with children, or to keep a record of the details so obtained. An employer who, without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with the requirements is guilty of an offence with a maximum penalty of 100 penalty units (currently $11,000) in the case of a corporation, or 50 penalty units (currently $5,500) in any other case. This offence replaces the existing statutory duty that is currently a requirement, but not an offence.

Children’s Health Services

Regulation 6 of the Child Protection (Working with Children) Regulation 2013 (NSW) will also be amended to provide that any direct contact that a worker has with a child or children when engaged in the following work is taken to be a usual part of and more than incidental to the work:

  • work as a health practitioner providing health services in wards of hospitals where children are treated;
  • other work as a health practitioner providing child health services; and
  • work by persons (other than health practitioners) who provide health and care services in paediatric or adolescent health services.

“Health services” is defined in detail in regulation 6 and includes medical, hospital and nursing and midwifery services, dental services, mental health services, community health services, health education services, chiropractic, occupational therapy, optometry, physiotherapy, podiatry and psychology services, speech therapy, audiology and audiometry services.

Please click here to access the full Bill.

Contact

For further information please contact the Law Compliance team:

Phone: 1300 862 667

Email: info@lawcompliance.com.au

Share this post

Ready to get in touch?