In 2013 a number of changes occurred to the Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012 and the Child Protection (Working with Children) Legislation 2013.
A positive change within the legislation was the portability of the Working With Children Check between agencies.
Negative changes included the $80.00 application fee being passed on to all employees by the State Government with this fee required to be paid every five years.
We note that the legislation is silent on who must pay this five yearly application fee however the State Government has instructed all agencies to pass the fee on to employees.
As a result of the Government’s decision the PSA sought legal advice and following this advice the PSA sought the assistance of the NSW Industrial Relations Commission.
The Working With Children Clearance is not limited to the Public Sector but affects all employees working with children. As a result other Unions in NSW have joined the PSA in this dispute.
As this matter has widespread coverage, Unions NSW has now taken carriage of this matter and as such it has coordinated a dispute to cover all unions.
This dispute is listed for hearing at the Industrial Relations Commission in Sydney on Friday 15 August at 9.30 am, before Justice Walton.
The PSA remains committed to our stance that the initial and consequent five yearly application fee should be paid by the employer and we will continue to support members in standing against the decision of the State Government.