View Document

Children at Macquarie University Policy

Section 1 - Purpose

(1) To state the principles related to children at Macquarie University so that the University:

  1. meets its legislative obligations for the protection of children involved in any University-related activity; and
  2. provides services and alternative arrangements to support, and ensure equality of opportunity for, staff and students with carer responsibilities.

Background

(2) The University aims to provide an environment which protects the safety, welfare and wellbeing of all children and young people in the University’s community.

(3) The University is aware that a carer’s responsibilities and commitments can sometimes have a significant impact on employment and outcomes. The University aims to provide carers with appropriate support.

Scope

(4) This Policy (Children at Macquarie University Policy) applies to:

  1. all staff employed by the University;
  2. students who care for children and young persons; and
  3. volunteers at Macquarie University.

(5) It is of particular relevance to staff who work with children.

Top of Page

Section 2 - Policy

Child Protection Obligations

(6) The University is required to:

  1. protect any person under the age of eighteen associated with a University-related activity, including but not limited to, employment, internship, practicum, traineeship, care, or study
  2. notify the Office of the Children’s Guardian of any decision not to engage a person as a result of the findings of a Working with Children Check;
  3. provide details of child abuse allegations / convictions against staff members to the Office of the Children’s Guardian except where the allegation has been proven to be vexatious or false; and
  4. notify the Communities and Justice (NSW) and / or the Police of any allegations of child abuse or if there is concern that a child is at risk of serious harm.

(7) Staff who care for, teach or provide research or services to children will be required to undergo a Working with Children Check.

(8) The University will not allow a person to either work or seek work in a position primarily involved with unsupervised direct contact with children if that person:

  1. has been convicted of a serious sex offence; or
  2. has been convicted of the murder of a child or child-related personal violence; or
  3. is a registrable person under the Child Protection (Offenders Registration) Act 2000 (NSW)

(9) Staff are required to report any allegations of child abuse to the Director, Human Resources. This applies regardless of whether the allegation is trivial, minor or whether or not the assertion is made with proof. The Director, Human Resources will maintain confidentiality at all times.

Approvals

(10) Staff and students must obtain permission from the relevant supervisor or academic before bringing children into University teaching or office spaces.

(11) Supervisors are required to give due consideration to requests for permission to bring children on campus, in line with the Flexible Work Policy.

Carer’s Responsibilities

(12) A carer is required to:

  1. accompany and supervise children on campus at all times; and
  2. take all reasonable steps to safeguard the health and safety of the children in their care while on campus.

(13) A carer is not permitted to bring children to work on a regular basis in lieu of childcare.

(14) Children on campus must not disrupt other people or any University activity. If a child becomes unreasonably disruptive, the carer and child may be asked to leave the campus.

(15) Children will not be permitted to enter some areas of the University that are hazardous or inappropriate for children, such as workshops and laboratories.

(16) Staff are not expected or required to supervise children of carers.

Compliance and Breaches

(17) The University may commence applicable disciplinary procedures if a person to whom this Policy applies breaches this Policy (or any of its related procedures).

Top of Page

Section 3 - Procedures

(18) Refer to the Children at Macquarie University Procedure.

Top of Page

Section 4 - Guidelines

(19) Nil.

Top of Page

Section 5 - Definitions

(20) Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary. The following definitions apply for the purpose of this Policy:

  1. Child / young person: person under the age of eighteen.
  2. Child abuse: includes, but is not limited to:
    1. any sexual offence or sexual misconduct, assault, ill treatment or neglect, exposing a child to behaviour that psychologically harms a child; and / or
    2. accessing and downloading child pornography; and / or
    3. making inappropriate contact with people under the age of eighteen via the Internet.
  3. Carer: a staff member or student who is responsible for the care of a child or young person.