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Organisations' offences

The Working with Children Act 2005 ('the Act') recognises the duty of care organisations have towards children and imposes penalties for breaching the Act. 

The table below lists the offences, maximum (max) penalties and the circumstances that would excuse a breach of the Act.

In the table, the term ‘employer’ includes all employers, volunteer organisations, agencies and self-employed people doing child-related work.

 

Your obligations Exceptions/defences Max penalty for individuals* Max penalty for organisations & self-employed* Section reference in the Act

You must not engage or continue to engage a person in child-related work who does not hold a valid Working with Children Check card.

 

  • If the worker does not need a Check because they are exempt under the Act.
  • If the worker has applied for a Check and their application is being processed and they are not prohibited from working whilst being assessed due to their serious criminal record.

Tip: check the status of their application, and their work rights, on the website at Check status.  

  • If you were in the process of transferring a Negative Notice holder to work that was not child-related work, or lawfully terminating them.
  • If you directly engaged the worker and the work was child-related work with your child, whether or not it involved direct contact with other children.
  • If the Victorian Civil and Administration Tribunal (VCAT) had stayed a Negative Notice issued to the worker, pending their appeal.

 

Two years imprisonment, a fine of 240 penalty units* or both. A fine of 1200 penalty units*. 35
You must ensure that any person who you engage in child-related work and offer their services to others, holds a valid card.
  • If the worker does not need a Check because they are exempt under the Act.
  • If the worker has applied for a Check and their application is being processed and they are not prohibited from working whilst being assessed due to their serious criminal record.

Tip: check the status of their application, and their work rights, on the website at Check status.

  • If VCAT had stayed the effect of a Negative Notice issued to the worker.
Two years imprisonment, a fine of 240 penalty units* or both. A fine of 1200 penalty units*. 36
You must not give any person, directly or indirectly, any information acquired from a Check, including information obtained from the worker or from the Department of Justice and Regulation. The Act permits the disclosure of information under limited circumstances. You must understand what those circumstances are so you do not breach the Act. A fine of 60 penalty units*.   40
You must not engage or continue to engage a person in child-related work for profit or gain if that person has a Volunteer Check.   A fine of 5 penalty units*.   37 (2)

 

* To view the monetary value of penalty units go to Fees.