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Children on Campus Procedure

Procedure overview

1 Purpose

To outline the University's approach to ensuring that Employees, Students and visitors are not unfairly disadvantaged or discriminated against because of their parental responsibilities, while also ensuring that reasonable steps are taken to protect the study and work environment of others at the University, and to protect the University's assets and reputation.

This procedure also considers health and safety issues and other legislative responsibilities associated with Children being on campus.

2 Scope

This procedure applies to situations involving all Employees, Students and visitors to the University, with the following exceptions:

  • short visits, for example as might occur when family groups arrive to provide an Employee with a lift home, or to drop items off for an Employee;
  • formally organised supervised visits such as school excursions or Children involved in work experience activities;
  • approved activities involving Children organised on-campus such as performing arts activities (including rehearsals), play groups, Psychology Clinic, Summer or Winter Schools, or similar activities organised by the University;
  • Children attending other organised activities such as University open days, music or theatre performances, arts exhibitions or University functions;
  • activities involving Children undertaken by external agencies on property owned by the University, such as the crèche and vacation care organised by the Student Guild at the Clive Berghofer Recreation Centre or the activities of the Mirambeena Child Care Centre;
  • Children attending functions organised by external agencies in hired University facilities; and
  • other formally organised school visits.

However, in these instances the expectation of the University is that Employees organising such visits must ensure that adequate supervision and protection against hazards are provided. Employees should seek advice from USQSafe to assist them to identify hazards and to provide appropriate controls and levels of supervision.

3 Procedure Overview

The University acknowledges that many University Employees and Students combine parenting and work or educational responsibilities and this may result in situations where Children may be on campus. There are also a large number of other circumstances that result in Children visiting the University's campuses.

The University seeks to support Employees and Students who find it necessary to bring a Child into work or classroom situations provided that:

  • the basis for the Child's visit is as a result of an unexpected and temporary breakdown in normal childcare arrangements, or is required to enable the parent to maintain regular breastfeeding of the Child
  • the visit is approved by a person with the appropriate authority
  • the Student or Employee accepts responsibility for supervising the Child at all times during the period of the Child's visit to the campus
  • the Child does not cause a significant disturbance to the integrity of the work or study environment concerned.

4 Procedures

4.1 Responsibilities of the University

  • To provide a healthy and safe environment which is conducive to study and work for all Employees, Students and visitors, and to comply with legislative requirements, including all provisions and requirements of the University's Alcohol and Drugs on University Sites Procedure.
  • To take reasonable steps to assist Employees, Students and visitors who may have special needs to enable access to an appropriate range of facilities and services.

4.2 Responsibilities of people bringing Children into the University

  • To provide direct supervision at all times to Children in their care.
  • To take reasonable steps to safeguard the health and safety of the Children in their care while on campus.
  • To consider the potential risk to the health and safety of others that may arise when Children are brought into the University environment and to take reasonable steps to safeguard against risks.
  • To be responsible for the behaviour of the Children in their care, so as not to inconvenience, disrupt or endanger Employees, Students or other visitors.

In general, all Children visiting the campus must be under the supervision of a responsible adult. The supervising adult is responsible for the behaviour and supervision of the child and must ensure that minimal disturbance is caused. Supervising adults, in making arrangements to cater for their responsibilities, should give consideration to the needs of other University Employees and Students, and must adhere to University health and safety policies and procedures. This responsibility cannot be delegated to another person.

Supervising adults must ensure that personal use of alcohol or other drugs does not affect the safety and well-being of others, including Children, and must comply with all provisions and requirements of the Alcohol and Drugs on University Sites Procedure.

Supervising adults may, at times, need to make special arrangements for the care of sick Children. While these arrangements may, in exceptional circumstances, include bringing the Child onto campus as a last resort, it is not permissible for parents or carers to bring a child who has been recently exposed to an Acute Infectious Illness (such as measles, mumps, etc.) into the University. The University has various leave arrangements to assist Employees who need to be absent to care for sick Children.

4.3 Responsibilities of supervisors, lecturers and Employees with authority in the particular work environment

  • To decide whether Children may attend work and/or lectures in specific situations within the scope of this procedure, taking into account:
    • the particular circumstances that have led to the request
    • the likely impact on Employees, Students and visitors
    • the health and safety issues and risks.

Supervisors, lecturers and Employees with authority in a particular environment must maintain health and safety standards and the integrity of the work or study environment in accordance with University policies and procedures, while acknowledging the special needs of Employees and Students with family responsibilities.

In those circumstances where the presence of a Child results in unacceptable health and safety risks or an unreasonable level of disruption to others, supervisors, Employees with authority and lecturers have the authority to direct that the supervising adult and child leave the particular work or study environment. This includes all learning situations controlled by University Employees, both face to face or via other channels.

4.4 Responsibilities of Category 4 Delegates

  • To approve or otherwise the presence of Children on campus (on the advice of the relevant supervisor, lecturer or other Employee), giving consideration to Employees and Students with family responsibilities without compromising the health and safety of Employees, Students and visitors.
  • Where necessary, to mediate any disputes that might arise as an outcome of the implementation of this procedure in their areas of responsibility.

4.5 Restricted areas

Areas in which Children are not permitted include:

  • science laboratories and laboratory preparation areas
  • photographic laboratories or studios
  • printer/copier rooms
  • scientific, technical and maintenance workshops
  • fine arts workshops or studios, or performing arts workshops or studios
  • kitchens and other food preparation areas
  • storerooms or areas where hazardous substances are being kept
  • areas subject to particular statutory or local regulations (such as areas licensed to sell alcohol or rooms where formal examinations are being held)
  • construction sites and areas where minor works or maintenance are being carried out.

Other areas may be identified as unsuitable for Children as a result of a risk assessment, normally performed by USQSafe. Supervisors of the respective areas are required to inform Employees and Students of requirements or restrictions.

4.6 Written approval

Written approval is required for all cases involving Employees bringing Children into the workplace during normal working hours.

For Employees bringing Children into the workplace outside of normal working hours, written approval should be sought wherever practicable - at the very least the Employee's supervisor should be notified of the visit.

Forms are available from the Human Resources web site and must be signed by both the Employee (as the 'responsible adult'), supervisor and relevant delegate. Wherever possible, permission should be sought prior to bringing the Child on campus. Where this is not possible, permission should be sought as soon as possible after the Child has been brought onto campus.

In the case of Students wishing to bring Children into lectures, verbal permission only is required from the lecturer concerned prior to the commencement of the lecture or tutorial.

Written approval is required where Employees and Students wish to bring Children with them on research and field trips. Forms are available and must be signed by responsible adult (Employee or Student), the Employee organising the research/field trip and the relevant delegate prior to the commencement of the trip.

4.7 Persistent abuse of the procedure

4.7.1 Employees

Where Complaints are received from Employees alleging persistent abuse of this procedure by an individual or individuals, the issues should, in the first instance, be referred to the relevant Delegate who will take action to resolve the matter.

Matters still requiring attention may be referred to the Director (Human Resources) in the case of an Employee, who will assess the matter and decide on a suitable course of action.

4.7.2 Students

Where Complaints are received from Students alleging persistent abuse of this procedure by an individual or individuals, the issues should be raised via the Student Complaints and Appeals Management System.

The University's disciplinary procedures for Employees and Students may be utilised.

4.8 Complaints

Employees or Students who feel they have been treated unfairly when permission to bring a Child on campus is refused or when a child is asked to leave the campus may consult Human Resources, refer to the Student Complaints and Appeals Management System, or seek redress through existing University Complaint mechanisms.

4.9 Liability

If the child is responsible for causing damage to University property, or causing an accident, the University may make a claim against the person responsible for the Child (the 'supervising adult') and that person may be sued for damages by the University.

5 Delegated responsibilities

Approver

Level of Delegation

Category 4 Delegate or above

Approval or otherwise of Children on campus, on advice from relevant supervisors/lecturers

6 References

Nil.

7 Schedules

This procedure must be read in conjunction with its subordinate schedules as provided in the table below.

8 Procedure Information

Subordinate Schedules

Children on Campus Schedule

Accountable Officer

Executive Director (Finance and People Capability)

Policy Type

University Procedure

Approved Date

13/11/2015

Effective Date

1/1/2016

Review Date

21/1/2018

Relevant Legislation

Fair Work Act 2009

University of Southern Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2014-2017

Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld)

Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (Qld)

Related Policies

Acceptable use of ICT Resources Policy

Code of Conduct Policy

Employee Complaints and Grievances Policy

Student Code of Conduct Policy

Student Complaint and Appeal Policy

Work Health and Safety Policy

Related Procedures

Alcohol and Drugs on University Sites Procedure

Leave of Absence Procedure

Student Complaint Management Procedure

Student General Misconduct Procedure

Visitors on University Sites Procedure

Related forms, publications and websites

Human Resources Website

International Labour Organisation's Convention No. 156 on Workers with Family Responsibilities (as ratified by the Australian Commonwealth Government on 20 March 1990)

Student Complaints and Appeals Management System

Definitions

Terms defined in the Definitions Dictionary

Complaint

An expression of dissatisfaction made in relation to an action, Decision or omission within the responsibility and control of the University, a University Member or a Student, where a response or resolution process is expected wherever possible....more

Employee

A person employed by the University and whose conditions of employment are covered by the USQ Enterprise Agreement and includes persons employed on a continuing, fixed term or casual basis. Employees also include senior Employees whose conditions of employment are covered by a written agreement or contract with the University....more

Student

A person who has been Admitted or Enrolled at the University, but has not yet graduated from their Academic Program....more

University

The term 'University' or 'USQ' means the University of Southern Queensland....more

Definitions that relate to this procedure only

Acute infectious illness

Includes common childhood diseases (measles, mumps, chicken pox, German measles) as well as colds/flu and other readily transmissible diseases that are not chronic in their nature.

Child/Children

Means people under the age of 16 years.

On-campus classroom situations

Relevant to this Procedure includes all formal learning situations under the control of University Employees, including teletutorials and videoconferences.

On-campus work situations

Relevant to this Procedure includes the buildings and grounds at the Toowoomba, Ipswich and Springfield campuses and properties under University control.

Restricted access areas

Are work areas defined as a studio, laboratory, workshop, store room, kitchen or other similar higher risk work area where access is limited to authorised personnel who normally work or study in the area, as defined in the Scope of the Workplace Health and Safety Procedure Visitors on University Sites. For the purpose of this Procedure, a list of 'Restricted Areas' is listed in Section 4.5 which expands on, but is consistent with, the Restricted Access Areas, as defined in the Scope of the Workplace Health and Safety Procedure Visitors on University Sites.

Keywords

Children visiting, restricted access

TRIM Record No

13/277PL

Failure to comply with this Policy or Policy Instrument may be considered as misconduct and the provisions of the relevant Policy or Procedure applied.
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