Child Workers Face Scrutiny of their Past

Anyone applying for paid or volunteer work with children in NSW will have their lives scrutinized under new employment screening rules. About 100,000 people will be subject to the rules, which are believed to be a world first. They will apply not only to teachers and child-care workers, but also to school bus drivers, football coaches and school gardeners who have unsupervised contact with children. Under the two-tier system, no-one convicted of a sexual assault or child abuse crime carrying a penalty of 12 months or more will be allowed to work with children, whether paid or as a volunteer.

But those who have had only apprehended violence orders taken out against them, criminal charges dropped, or disciplinary procedures at work laid against them for physical, sexual or emotional abuse of children, will be assessed for childcare jobs. Their chances of a job will depend on the detail of their case and the position they apply for. Existing employees will not have to undergo these checks unless they change jobs.