Changes to workers covered by the Reportable Conduct Scheme

Labour hire workers, secondees and volunteer workers will be included in the Reportable Conduct Scheme from 1 July 2024.

From 1 July 2024, more types of employees will be covered by the Reportable Conduct Scheme, including workers and volunteer workers supplied via arrangements such as labour hire.

Heads of organisations already have responsibilities for the workers, volunteers and contractors they employ directly, and these responsibilities will still apply. The changes mean these responsibilities will extend to more individuals in your workplace, whether they are employed directly or supplied by a provider or agency.

Individual business owners who employ staff, as well as directors of companies who are performing work for organisations, will also be covered from 1 July 2024.

The changes make sure allegations of harm and abuse by workers, regardless of their type of employment, are properly reported and investigated to create better safeguards for children in Victoria.

What are the changes?

Changes have been made to the Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005 to expand the definition of an employee for the Reportable Conduct Scheme. The new definition of employee now includes more people who are over the age of 18, whether or not their work relates to children.

The new types of employees covered by the Reportable Conduct Scheme include:

  • labour hire workers and volunteer workers
  • secondees
  • individual business owners who employ or engage staff
  • directors of companies where the director performs work for the organisation.

Who is a labour hire worker or volunteer worker?

A labour hire worker or volunteer worker is someone who is supplied by a provider to another organisation to perform work. This means there is an arrangement between the individual and the provider, such as a labour hire agreement.

This also includes volunteer workers who are supplied by a provider to perform work on a voluntary basis.

Some examples of labour hire workers include:

  • relief teachers in schools
  • agency nurses working in hospitals
  • additional support workers at kindergartens
  • higher education students on placement at schools or early childhood centres.

Who is a secondee?

Secondees are also people who are employed by a provider and are supplied to another organisation to work for a temporary secondment period.

What this means for heads of organisations

The steps you need to follow for reporting and investigating reportable allegations will stay the same. These changes relate to the types of employees that are included in the Reportable Conduct Scheme.

What this means for employees

The changes don’t create any additional responsibilities for workers, but your conduct will now be covered by the Reportable Conduct Scheme.

Find more information about the Reportable Conduct Scheme for workers.

When the changes will apply

The changes start on 1 July 2024. In some cases, conduct before this date may be covered under the Reportable Conduct Scheme.

What you need to do – for heads of organisations

We are developing more detailed information to help you understand these changes. If you’re not already subscribed, sign-up to our newsletter to be notified when we publish this information.

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In the meantime, start reviewing the processes and contracts you have in place to engage workers to help you understand whether this change applies to you.

You can also read about the upcoming changes to the Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005 on the Victorian Legislation website.

If you work with labour hire agencies, you might want to start speaking with them about this change and planning how you will undertake investigations of labour hire workers and volunteers.