Last year many of you attended our Workplace Reportable Conduct & Child Protection Obligations Seminar where we discussed: what is covered by the scheme in ACT, what amounts to reportable conduct and what to do when reportable conduct is identified, this included the significant role played by the ACT Ombudsman.
On 11 June 2019 the ACT Ombudsman launched its Facebook page with a view to engaging in the community and spreading awareness of the services it offers. It is intended that regular and relevant information will be shared on this page including the helpful resources regarding reportable conduct.
Of interest, quarterly reports are released by the Ombudsman reporting on the activity in the reportable conduct space. We currently await the report for the June 2019 quarter. However, we highlight the following interesting data from the March 2019 quarter report:
- There was an increase of 39% in reports to the Ombudsman compared to he same time period last year.
- Ill treatment of a child involving hostile use of force remained the most common allegation, with misconduct of a sexual nature and ill treatment involving emotional abuse being the next most common allegations.
- By sector, Education and care service providers accounted for 47% of complaints, with the balance largely coming from the Kinship and Foster Care sector.
- Out of the complaints, 44% were sustained, only 16% were found not be reportable conduct and the balance not sustained due to evidentiary issues (40%).
- In relation to action taken by organisations: 16% resulted in terminations, 15% resulted in performance management, 21% training and counselling, 10% other disciplinary action and 37% no action after investigation.
The June 2019 report should address how many complaints are received regarding religious bodies following the Royal Commission Legislation Amendment Act 2019 which incorporated religious bodies into the scheme.
We continue to watch with interest as awareness in this space grows and hopefully we will see the scheme expand to incorporate sporting bodies.
Please contact us should you require assistance to:
- Educate or refresh educating your staff on the application of the reportable conduct scheme;
- Review your workplace policies and procedures; or
- Conduct a workplace investigation regarding reportable conduct.