A Santa is one of the highlights of the festive season. Shopping centre photos with Saint Nick + Santa visiting your event are all season staples. So, if your business is looking to hire the big guy for your event or shopping centre, hotel, tourist spot or any other location, you need to ensure they hold a valid Working With Children check. A WWC check is a compulsory check for those who work with children, and assesses their suitability, as well as the risk (if any) of harm they may pose to a child.
Being aware of the risks is important to parents. As stated by Holly Brennan, the Daniel Morcombe Foundation Chief Executive, all parents have the right to know that shopping centre Santas have been cleared to work with children. “The public’s expectation is that they are not putting their child on the lap of somebody who has not been cleared to have a child sit on them. While parents or carers have a supervisory role to play, the Daniel Morcombe Foundation believes that all Santas, in all situations – including in shopping centres – must have [blue cards],” says Brennan.
WWC checks help to give employers peace of mind that the people they are hiring are fit to represent their business. This is especially important when it comes to Santas that spend long periods with children. A WWC check should form part of a Child Safety Policy within your business. This policy should include a Statement of Commitment to child safety, as well as outline the tools that your business uses to create a child safe environment. The policy should also include the actions your business will take should an incident occur. The Australian Human Rights Commission has published a template to help your business build your Child Safety Policy.
If you’re hiring Santa, or hiring for roles that involve working with children, WorkPro can help you to protect the most vulnerable members of the community, by allowing you to request candidates and workers to either upload or apply for the relevant state-based check, track expiries and set auto-reminders for re-checks. It can take up to three weeks to finalise a check, so you need to be coordinating these checks now. Click here to find out more.