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Working with children checks
LAST WEEK we received correspondence from the State Service Management Office (SSMO) that the government has finally established its position on Working With Children Checks (WWCC), that means:
• Agencies will reimburse employees for the $103.60 fee for their first application.
• This will apply retrospectively to 1 October 2015.
• They are also to reimburse the fee for their volunteers where it is in the public interest.
• They will not pay the fees for new employees (except in special circumstances).
SSMO has also decided the renewal fees (for subsequent applications) for WWCC will be paid by the employee. Clearly these fees should be paid by the employer as they’re directly associated with work. This is a position we’ve always held. In March last year when DHHS tried to make its employees pay for these checks, we told Members to wait and not to pay, and in the end the Agency ended up paying for WWCCs, and rightly so.
Renewal fees should be paid by the employers and the position that staff should pay will be challenged by us, and we will include it in our log of claims for the Public Sector Unions Wages Agreement.