Department of Communities cracks down on those not following WWCC rules

Department of Communities cracks down on those not following WWCC rules

by Freya Lucas

October 21, 2021

The Department of Communities, in Western Australia, has cracked down on those who are failing to follow the Working with Children Act. 

 

In the first instance, a Perth man has been prosecuted for carrying out child-related work while holding a Negative Notice, while in the second instance a Perth woman has been convicted after making false claims on a Working with Children Check (WWCC) application.

 

Negative notice

 

A Department of Communities investigation found that on 14 August 2020, the male outlined above was carrying out a child-related business at a time that he held a current Negative Notice. 

 

A Negative Notice prohibits a person from being employed in child-related work or carrying out child-related business, in that he was working as a support worker for two children in Perth’s northern suburbs.

 

The investigation found that the man had breached the Working with Children (Criminal Record Checking) Act 2004. Following the investigation, the Perth Magistrates Court found him guilty and imposed a fine of $1,000 and $630.50 costs.

 

False claims 

 

In the second case, a woman completed an application for a Working with Children Card and signed it as the authorised person for Mr Cleen Pty Ltd

 

On investigation by the Department of Communities, it was determined that the woman had made a false declaration and was not employed by the company.

 

The Perth Magistrates Court found that she had breached the Working with Children (Criminal Record Checking) Act 2004 . She failed to appear in court and was found guilty of the charge and imposed a penalty of $700 and $655.50 costs in her absence.

 

Employers urged to be vigilant

 

Each of the cases, Department of Communities Deputy Director General Catherine Stoddart said, serve as a warning to all Western Australians who are engaged in, or employ those engaged in, child-related work. 

 

“The safety of children is always the overriding consideration,” Ms Stoddart said.

 

“The community has the right and expectation that their children are safe when they are entrusted into the care of others. Organisations, businesses and community groups must ensure that all their staff who are engaged in child-related employment, paid or voluntary, have a current and valid Working with Children Card.”

 

This requirement, she continued, also applies to self-employed persons who operate their own business in child-related work.

 

“Employers have a responsibility for how their organisation is run and it is imperative that robust procedures are in place to ensure the safety of children.” 

 

“If a person’s card has expired, or they have a Negative Notice issued, they cannot be employed or continue in child-related work.”

 

“Any individual or employer who fabricates information on a Working with Children Check application is committing an offence,” Ms Stoddart added.

 

Further information about Working with Children Checks and applicant and employer obligations is available on the Working with Children website.

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