The IEU recently received notification from a concerned member that the Catholic Education Office in the Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes (CEO) is directing current employees to obtain a new Working With Children Check (WWCC) prior to the phase-in period as stipulated by the NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian through the Child Protection (Working With Children) Regulation 2013.
When the member refused to adhere to this unreasonable direction, there was a challenge to the members’ motivation for not wishing to comply in a manner that the member was understandably offended. Further, the CEO stated the direction was “a condition of your continuing employment”.
The IEU have confirmed with the Office of the Children's Guardian (OCG) that the OCG have not issued any direction or provided legal advice to any employer, in support of the employer instructing current employees to obtain a WWCC prior to the phase-in period.
As a result, the IEU have informed the CEO that our members cannot be intimidated into having a WWCC prior to the phase-in period.
The IEU confirms that any person already in paid or volunteer child-related work in the following sectors need not apply immediately, as the new WWCC phase-in period is as follows:
- Secondary school employees between the 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017
- Primary Schools/Early Education/Child Care employees between 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018
If any member is required by their employer to obtain a new WWCC prior to the phase-in period, they should seek advice by contacting their IEU Organiser or Russell Schokman, IEU Policy Advisor on 8202 8900 or the toll free number (for country members) 1800 467 943.