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New children's workforce regulations in effect from 1 July

June 17, 2015 at 4:23 PM

*From the NZ Family Violence Clearinghouse*

New children's workforce regulations in effect from 1 July

New regulations requiring mandatory safety checking of people who work with children come into effect on 1 July 2015.

The regulations, a key part of theVulnerable Children's Act and theChildren's Action Plan, require all new employees working directly with children in government agencies and government funded organisations to undergo a Police vet, a full identity check, comprehensive reference checking, candidate interviews and a risk assessment before commencing work. Guidelines to help organisations implement the regulations were launched in March 2015.

The regulations will be implemented in a phased approach, initially covering employees beginning employment who will work alone with, or have core responsibility over children, such as doctors, teachers, nurses, paediatricians and social workers. Regulations will then be gradually introduced as follows:

  • 1 July 2016 - new non-core workers starting a job or contract
  • 1 July 2018 - core workers currently employed
  • 1 July 2019 - non-core workers currently employed

Social Development Minister Anne Tolley said "We must do everything we can to keep our children safe from abuse, and the new regulations provide the most consistent and comprehensive mandatory checks that have ever been in place for children’s workers."

The regulations and supporting documents are available on the Children's Action Plan website.