As an organisation, you need to understand your obligations. You must:

  • not engage or continue to engage anyone in child-related work who doesn’t have a valid Working with Children (WWC) Check, unless they are exempt under the Worker Screening Act 2020 (the Act) or have lodged an application for a Check that’s currently being assessed (subject to the below)
  • not engage or continue to engage anyone who would otherwise be exempt from holding a valid Check, if they have received a WWC Exclusion and not subsequently received a Check
  • not engage or continue to engage anyone in child-related work who is subject to obligations or orders specified in clause 1 of Schedule 5 of the Act
  • not allow people who are charged with, convicted or found guilty of sexual, violent or drug offences specified in clause 2 of Schedule 5 of the Act to work with or care for children while their application is processed or their Check reassessed
  • not offer the services of any person who doesn’t have a Check to another organisation if the work to be undertaken with that organisation is child-related work
  • know how to check if a person is allowed to work with children while their application is processed by using Check status
  • know how to check if a person has a valid Check by using Check status
  • ensure paid workers doing child-related work have an Employee Check, not a Volunteer Check
  • know when your workers’ Checks expire, and
  • respect and protect workers’ privacy.

For more information, please view our legislation for organisations page.

What happens if one of my workers fails the Check?

To keep children safe from harm, you must also know what to do if one of your workers has their Check suspended or revoked, or is issued with a WWC Exclusion.

Revoked or suspended Check

If your worker’s Check is suspended or revoked, they won’t be able to legally do child-related work for your organisation. We’ll notify you in writing of the suspension or if their Check has been revoked and advise you on the next steps you and your worker will need to take.

Failing the Check

Your worker will fail the Check if we determine, upon application, that they must be refused a Check in accordance with the Act or if they pose an unjustifiable risk to the safety of children. We’ll issue them with a WWC Exclusion, but must give the individual a chance to respond to the proposed WWC Exclusion before issuing a final decision. From there, they may have the opportunity to apply to VCAT for a review or to get a WWC Clearance. A person cannot apply to VCAT to review the department’s decision if they have at any time been charged with, convicted or found guilty of a category A offence and were an adult at the time of the offence or alleged offence.

Receiving a WWC Exclusion

If your worker receives a WWC Exclusiion, we’ll let you know. By law, they must also tell you in writing within seven days of the date they are given the Exclusion. Please note you won’t be told the reason for the WWC Exclusion. Once issued, they’re not allowed to do any child-related work effective from the date listed on the Exclusion. 
If your worker isn’t granted a Check after applying to VCAT, they can’t apply for a Check again for until five years after the date of the Exclusion unless their circumstances change. 

What if my organisation is non-compliant?

Your organisation has certain responsibilities under the Act, and if you don’t meet these responsibilities or don’t comply, there may be consequences and you might be subject to a penalty. This applies for both individuals and organisations who breach the Act. 
For details on what happens when you neglect your legal obligations, see our offences and penalties page. 

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