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A Better Future for Our Kids Bill 2003

Part 4 Working with Children Check


41   Object of Part

             (1)  The object of this Part is to protect children by means of a check on all those undertaking child-related employment or working as a child-related volunteer.

             (2)  The welfare of children and, in particular, protecting them from child abuse, is the main purpose of the Working with Children Check.

42   Main role of Commissioner

                   The main role of the Commissioner in relation to the Working with Children Check is to co-ordinate the development and implementation of the check and, in particular, to:

                     (a)  work with Commonwealth agencies and other appropriate bodies to implement the check for Commonwealth entities; and

                     (b)  work with State and Territory bodies to develop a uniform approach and implementation of the check throughout Australia.

43   Definitions

                   In this Part, unless the contrary intention appears:

check means the Working with Children Check described by this Part.

Commonwealth authority has the meaning given by the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 .

Commonwealth company has the meaning given by the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 .

Commonwealth entity means any of the following:

                     (a)  a Commonwealth department or agency;

                     (b)  a Commonwealth authority; or

                     (c)  a Commonwealth company.

44   Nature of Working with Children Check

                   For the purposes of this Act, the Working with Children Check is any or all of the following procedures with respect to a person who is employed or who has applied to be employed in child-related employment by an employer who is a Commonwealth entity or who works or applies to work as a child-related volunteer in a Commonwealth entity:

                     (a)  a check for any relevant criminal record of the person, for any relevant apprehended violence orders made against the person or for any relevant disciplinary proceedings completed against the person;

                     (b)  any other probity check relating to the previous employment or other activities of the person which the Commissioner considers relevant;

                     (c)  the issuing of a suitability notice/card in respect of the person.

45   Initial tasks of the Commissioner in respect of the Working with Children Check

             (1)  In respect of the check, the Commissioner must:

                     (a)  develop procedures and administrative arrangements for the collection, storage, disclosure and disposal of information required to carry out the check under section 44; and

                     (b)  develop standards and procedures related to the issuing of suitability notices/cards; and

                     (c)  make recommendations to the Minister concerning enforcement of the check, and responsibilities of employees, employers, employment-related bodies, volunteers and organisations; and

                     (d)  make recommendations to the Minister about Commonwealth, State and Territory legislative changes necessary for the extension of the check to all child-related employment and child-related volunteers in Australia.

             (2)  In carrying out the tasks in subsection (1), the Commissioner must consult with relevant Commonwealth agencies, State and Territory bodies, businesses and organisations and develop such co-operative arrangements as are necessary.

             (3)  The tasks in subsection (1) are to be completed within 2 years of the appointment of the first Commissioner.

46   Implementation of the Working with Children Check

             (1)  Upon completion of the initial tasks under subsection 45(1), the regulations may provide for the staged implementation of the check.

             (2)  The regulations may fix different dates for the commencement of different requirements or obligations, for different kinds of employers or organisations or for different kinds of child-related employment or child-related volunteers.

             (3)  This section does not prevent the voluntary performance of any proposed requirements before the date fixed by the regulations.

             (4)  The Commissioner may issue guidelines or draft requirements in respect of the check.