In 2014 the Vulnerable Children Act was introduced as part of a major cross-sector strategy to protect children in this country. 

The Act introduced a requirement for school boards, state services, DHBs, and other people who enter into contracts or funding arrangements with those entities, to have specific child protection policies in place.  These policies must describe the processes and procedures that an organisation will follow to ensure that the potential for child abuse or neglect is identified and responded to.

The Act also introduced comprehensive safety checks for employees and potential employees who will be working with children (“children’s workers”).  Children’s workers are classified as either core workers or non-core workers.  There are different time frames to comply with safety checking requirements for both new and existing core and non-core workers.  People with certain criminal convictions cannot be engaged or employed as core children’s workers unless they successfully apply for an exemption.  Safety checks have significant implications for employers and employees alike, and there are criminal penalties if the requirements are not followed.

For more information speak with our Wellington employment lawyers Carolyn Heaton, email: carolyn.heaton@morrisonkent.com; phone (04) 495-8908 or John Goddard, email: john.goddard@morrisonkent.com; phone: (04) 495-8932

Carolyn and John will be presenting a seminar about “The Vulnerable Children Act and implications for schools” at the Education Law Conference on 2 March 2018.

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