Working with Children’s Check
Brimbank Council has advised an organisational change regarding the introduction of Working with Children Checks for all parks employees. The ASU has raised several concerns to HR following the members meeting held last week.
The employer has agreed to place this change on hold post the Christmas/New Year period and have scheduled a meeting to occur between ASU Organiser Lorraine Di Pietrantonio, ASU Delegate Tyson Fell, Manger Christopher Cook and HR Adviser Matthew La Riccia for Tuesday 22 January.
Following this meeting the ASU will provide an update to members regarding progress on this matter.
Employee requirement to declare outside employment
The ASU contacted Manager Christopher Cook to understand the reasoning behind the requirement for staff to declare any outside employment. The employer has advised that in line with the Code of Conduct, staff are required to declare any outside work that could be a potential conflict of interest. The ASU obtained some advice regarding this requirement and following review of the Code of Conduct and other relevant documentation seek to provide the following advice.
It is important to note however that whether an employee is required to disclose depends on the circumstances of their outside employment and their role, as this differs from employee to employee and if you are affected you might need to seek advice, union members can contact the ASU for this advice.
However general advice is that;
- Outside employment is defined broadly, including employment by another employer, working for yourself, contract work and even unpaid voluntary work.
- If the outside employment could be a conflict of interest, or there may be a perception that there could be a conflict of interest, you must disclose.
- Information you may need to disclose can include the type of work and the average hours they perform. Brimbank CC will then decide to approve the outside employment or not.
- Employees must not be dishonest in their disclosures.
- Employees must follow lawful and reasonable directions of the employer.
Please see below some examples to help illustrate the advice;
- eg. 1 – Arborist who runs his own business on private property on weekends. Work is done on private property which Council does not do.
- This work is not actual or potential conflict of interest, provided that the operations of the own business is not done on work time (e.g. taking calls about the own business during work time at Brimbank CC) or using the equipment of Brimbank CC.
- eg. 2 – Workers who use sick leave or annual leave to do their outside employment, or are fatigued at work because of their outside employment.
- Taking sick leave to do their outside employment is a definitely conflict of interest.
- Taking annual leave to their outside employment is not a conflict of interest because annual leave is the employee’s private time, provided that the outside employment itself is not a conflict.
- Being fatigued at work because of outside employment is potentially a conflict of interest because it could compromise the quality of their work at Brimbank CC or employees safety
Please note that the employee’s obligation is not to disclose any second job as opposed to allowing the employees to consider whether they need to disclose based on whether there is a conflict of interest.
You have two options;
- Disclose; this avoids the issue of disciplinary action for non-disclosure. However, this raises the issue of whether the employer approves.
- It is your decision to decide whether or not to disclose depending on the circumstances. However, this risks disciplinary action for non-disclosure.
For further information please contact:
ASU Member Contact Centre | 1800 855 570
ASU Organiser Lorraine Di Pietrantonio | 0400 986 745