Employees Working With Children
Employees Working with Children? Do the Checks

Families are becoming busier than ever. More service options are being sought by parents each year around the education, entertainment and care of their children.  As a result of this, the number of Australian employees working with children continues to grow. From play centres to sports camps, music schools to roller blading businesses – wherever employees are working with children, the need for care on the part of employers is high. We explain why it is important not only for the safety of children, but also as part of sound business practice.

On the cards
 For employers operating within one state or territory, the checks that need to occur when employees work with children can be relatively straightforward. Within each state, a Working with Children Check card (sometimes named slightly differently) will generally be mandated for all employees and volunteers who are working with children. Where a business covers more than one state or territory, it is important to understand any slight variations between the requirements of differing jurisdictions. For example, one state might have prescribed occupations that require checks, whereas others might leave the identification of relevant child-related roles to the employer. 
Checking the past
Depending upon the nature of your business, a criminal history check can also be beneficial where employees are to be working with children. This is because the Working with Children Check is targeted towards the history of your employee only as it relates to children. To avoid any possibility for adverse outcomes, the criminal history check will enable you to take a broader snapshot of your worker’s past. Assault-based charges for example might have a bearing upon your decision to employ somebody to work with children.
Necessary training
 In some business environments involving children, such as those with a water or outdoor element, employees will also be required to have completed current First Aid training. It is vital to establish under relevant regulations whether or not such training should be completed already, or can be obtained within a set timeframe. And where young children are involved, base-level child care qualifications are often a requirement for employees. 
Saving dollars?
Sometimes in the hope of saving costs, employers will take shortcuts when employing people to work with children. Yet taking a person on face value about their past, letting the First Aid certificate slide or overlooking the absence of a certain qualification can lead to all manner of regrettable circumstances. As well as the heartache for all when a child is harmed, employers can face considerable legal and financial penalties for failing to undertake basic risk mitigation.
Reducing risks
 There is no doubting that following the protective regulations around children can be time-consuming for the average employer. We all like to think that we are good judges of character, especially when it comes to the trustworthiness of our employees. And it can certainly be tempting to cut corners when vetting staff for our busy enterprises. But you can avoid significant problems down the track if the right checks and documents are obtained early on. Regular professional assessment of your current risk factors relevant to child-related work can ensure that your business is suitably equipped for the care of our youngest citizens. 

Content retrieved from: http://www.wiseworkplace.com.au/_blog/WISE_Blog/post/employees-working-with-children-do-the-checks/.