Vulnerable Children’s Act – new requirements for safety checks
General / 25 July 2018
The Vulnerable Children Act 2014 (VCA) was introduced to provide greater protection for children, requiring specified employers, who are funded by government, to conduct safety checks on workers who have regular contact with children as part of their role. You can read our article summarising the Act here.
The VCA classifies employees working with children into two different types: ‘core workers’ and ‘non-core workers’. Core workers are those employees who are either the only children’s worker present with, or someone who has primary responsibility for, or authority over, a child/children. Non-core workers are any other employee in the organisation whose role has contact with children and who doesn’t meet the criteria for core workers.
The VCA specified a staged approach to the requirement to conduct checks and initially these were only necessary for new employees. However, from 1 July 2018, all employers covered by the VCA must complete a safety check for all existing employees who are ‘core workers’, and three yearly thereafter.
Existing ‘non-core workers’ will be required to be safety checked from 1 July 2019 and three yearly thereafter.
The VCA also specifies when an employer can no longer employ a worker in relation to specific kinds of convictions, which means that some employers may be in the position of having to terminate employment where safety checks uncover these.
What does this mean for you?
If you are covered by the VCA, you need to ensure you’re complying with the new requirements. Our team can provide advice as to whether your organisation is covered, and what to do to comply. We can also provide assistance with drafting relevant policies which comply with the VCA, and with taking action against employees whose safety checks do not meet the requirements of the VCA.
If you have any questions, please contact us
Disclaimer: We remind you that while this article provides commentary on employment law and health and safety topics, it should not be used as a substitute for legal or professional advice for specific situations. Please seek legal advice from your lawyer for any questions specific to your workplace.