Policy WHS-PRO-020 Children in the Workplace and Study Environment Procedure

WHS-PRO-020 Children in the Workplace and Study Environment Procedure


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Intent

To describe the process by which James Cook University (JCU) staff members, students and affiliates request permission for children to accompany them whilst at the workplace or study environment.

Scope

This procedure applies to all members of Council, staff members, affiliates, students and visitors of the University.

Definitions

Except as otherwise specified in this procedure, the meaning of terms used in this procedure are described in the Policy Glossary and the governing Children in the Workplace and Study Environment Policy.

Procedure

The University understands that at times, there may be circumstances where a staff member, Student or Affiliate is required to bring a Child to the workplace. Approval from the relevant JCU authority should be sought, prior to the Child being brought to the Workplace.

1. Obtaining Permission: Students

1.1  Students who wish to bring a child/ren to attend a class (lecture, tutorial, workshop or other JCU organised activity) should first contact the JCU staff member or affiliate conducting the class to request permission for a child or children to attend. Staff are required to treat the request fairly, and in line with supporting JCU’s commitment to principles of equity and inclusion.

1.2  The student, or the child’s carer, must not bring a child with an infectious disease to the workplace or study environment.

1.3  The JCU staff member or affiliate will advise in writing (which can be electronic), approval or not of the child/ren attending the class.  The staff member or affiliate may provide a conditional approval having regard to the safety and wellbeing of the other students or members of the JCU community. An example of such a condition may be that the child is accompanied by a carer, who is not the student, while the child is attending the workplace or study environment.

1.4  If approval is not granted, the JCU staff member or affiliate will provide reasons for their decision, referring to the Factors to Consider for guidance (see Section 3).

1.5  It is the duty of the carer to ensure that the child does not disrupt the learning or other environment or cause inconvenience to others.

1.6  A JCU staff member or affiliate can at their absolute discretion request the carer to remove the child from the area if the child is being disruptive.

1.7  The policy identifies prohibited areas. Public events (university open days) may allow access to prohibited areas, under supervision of JCU event staff.

1.8  Students are not permitted to take children into examinations.

2. Obtaining Permission: JCU Staff Members and Affiliates

2.1  JCU staff and affiliates must seek approval in writing from their supervisor prior to bringing children to the workplace. This can be done on an annual basis to ascertain the supervisor’s requirements for notification, for example, blanket approval for the year, with a courtesy email or text advising that the child will be attending the workplace. Or, a supervisor may require a staff member to request permission every time a child is to be present at the workplace.

2.2  Supervisors will consider requests and provide a response that addresses the Factors to Consider (see Section 3 below).

2.3  The staff member or affiliate is responsible for ensuring that the child does not disrupt the workplace or study environment.

2.4  The child must not be brought to the workplace suffering from an infectious disease.

2.5  Supervision of the child cannot be delegated to others for any period of time.

2.6  The supervisor should advise in writing (which can be electronic), approval or not of the child attending the workplace or study environment.  The supervisor may provide a conditional approval having regard to the safety and wellbeing of the other staff or members of the JCU community.  An example of such a condition may be that the child is accompanied by a carer, who is not the staff member, while the child is attending the workplace or study environment.

2.7  If approval is not granted, the supervisor should provide reasons as to why they have made the decision, referring to the Factors to Consider (see Section 3 below) for guidance.

2.8  A JCU staff member or affiliate can, at their absolute discretion, request the carer to remove the child from the workplace.

2.9  The policy identifies prohibited areas. Public events (such as university open days) may allow access to prohibited areas, under supervision of JCU event staff.

3. Factors to Consider

When reviewing a request for a child to accompany a carer to the workplace the following factors are to be considered:

  • timing of notification to the lecturer, supervisor or tutor;
  • urgency of the request;
  • duration that the child might be in the workplace;
  • safety and supervision of the child in the relevant environment (some areas are prohibited areas for children);
  • frequency of attendance;
  • age of child;
  • subject matter of class attended - some topics may be upsetting or unsuitable for children;
  • available space, is the classroom already at capacity?
  • wellness of the child;
  • behaviour of the child;
  • environmental, health and safety issues, including the degree of interference with others;
  • whether other options are available, for example a student may be able to catch up on a lecture on-line or attend another tutorial session, or a staff member may be able to take leave.

Related policy instruments

Children in the Workplace and Study Environment Policy

WHS-PRO-021 Children in the Workplace and Study Environment JCU Research Station Procedure

WHS-PRO-022 Children in the Workplace and Study Environment Field Trip Procedure

Other related documents

WHS-PRO-INFO-020a Risk Assessment Considerations for Children Accompanying Carers to JCU Workplace

WHS-PRO-FORM-020b Parent/Guardian Acknowledgement, Consent and Release form

Administration

Approval Details

Policy Domain

Work Health and Safety

Policy Sponsor

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services and Resources

Approval Authority

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services and Resources

Date for next Major Review

31/08/2024

Revision History

Version

Approval date

Implementation date

Details

Author

21-131/08/202131/08/2021Procedure reviewed. Minor amendments to improve readability.

Executive Officer, Division of Services and Resources

20-116/07/202030/07/2020Minor amendment to title due to change of name of work unit.  Title changed from HSE-PRO-020 to WHS-PRO-020Administrative Officer, Work Health and Safety

18-1

26/06/2018

27/06/2018

Procedure established

Executive Officer, Division of Services and Resources

Keywords

Child, children, permission, workplace, classroom, study

Contact person

Executive Officer, Division of Services and Resources