Print

Blue card obligations for organisations

Organisations, business operators and self-employed business operators have obligations under the blue card system. If you don’t comply with these obligations you could face penalties for non-compliance.

You must:

  • not start a person in child-regulated work without a valid card
  • take reasonable steps to confirm the card holder’s identity
  • link a card holder when they start with your organisation
  • de-link a card holder when they leave your organisation
  • maintain a register of the people engaged in your organisation
  • develop and implement a child and youth risk management strategy

and

Valid card

If you are engaging someone in child-regulated work it is your responsibility to make sure they have a valid blue card. You can check online if a blue card is valid.

Linking applicants and card holders

You need to link a card holder to your organisation before they start in child-regulated work.

Students/volunteers must be linked to the organisation they are studying/volunteering with to get their card for free. Organisations need to create a link via the Organisation Portal or submit the link form before the student/volunteer applies for their card.

Organisations using the Organisation Portal can create a link and de-link applicants and card holders in real time. Find out more information about the Organisation Portal.

If you are not using the Organisation Portal, you will need to submit a form when a card holder starts and stops working with your organisation:

Employee register

As part of your strategy, your organisation is required to create and maintain an employee register. This is a written record or register of all business operators, paid employees and volunteers involved in child-related activities within your organisation.

We can audit an organisation to ensure they maintain an employee register. You will need to develop procedures for creating and maintaining a register in either electronic or hard copy format.

If a complaint is made in relation to an individual or your organisation, you may be asked for a copy of your employee register.

Change in information

You need to let us know whenever your organisation’s details change, including:

  • the organisation’s name
  • the address or contact details
  • contact people (including when a contact person changes their name).

You can update these in the Organisation Portal or by submitting a paper form.

As a self-employed business operator, you must let us know within 7 days:

Changes to police information

An organisation does not need to tell us when an applicant or card holder has a change in their police information. Instead, applicants and card holders must immediately let us know if their police information changes by completing a change in police information notification.

Existing workplace requirements for employees to report a change in their police information to their employer may remain. For example, your organisation may have a policy that requires all employees to report a change in their police information, such as a drink driving charge.

We will notify you of a card holder's change in police information when the change is considered relevant to child-related employment.

Suspension of blue or exemption card

As a business operator or self-employed business operator with a suspended blue or exemption card, you must:

  • not apply for, start or continue child-related work
  • not start or continue a child-related business
  • return your card to us immediately unless already surrendered to the Queensland Police Service.

Once the court finalises your charge, we will re-assess your eligibility to hold a blue card.

Whilst your card is suspended, you are considered a restricted person.

Cancellation of blue or exemption card

As a business operator or self-employed business operator with a cancelled blue or exemption card you must:

  • not apply for, start or continue child-related work
  • not start or continue a child-related business
  • return your card to us immediately.

If you have been issued with a negative notice, you are considered a restricted person .

Restricted person in restricted employment

There are exemptions that allow certain people to work or volunteer with children without a blue or exemption card in specific circumstances, such as a parent volunteering as a coach at their child’s sporting club.

As an organisation or business operator, you must not employ or continue to employ a restricted person.

Restricted person

A restricted person is a person who either:

Restricted employment

Restricted employment refers to the situations or exemptions that allow a person to work with children without a blue card, such as if they are:

  • a volunteer parent
  • a volunteer who is under 18
  • paid or unpaid staff who work in regulated child-related employment for not more than 7 days in a calendar year
  • a person with disability who is employed at a place where the person also receives disability services or NDIS supports or services
  • a secondary school student on work experience who carries out disability related work under the direct supervision of a person who holds a blue or exemption card.

Back to top

Understanding restricted person, restricted employment laws

This video helps organisations understand the restricted person, restricted employment laws.

Duration 00:05:04

Many organisations rely on exemptions that allow certain people to work or volunteer with children without a blue card in specific circumstances, such as a parent volunteering as a coach at their child’s sporting club.

On 31 August 2020, the Queensland Government made changes to the blue card system - to make it better.  Better for you and better for our kids.

There are stricter requirements for people who rely on an exemption to work or volunteer with children through the introduction of the terms restricted person and restricted employment, and associated offences.

As an organisation or business operator, you must not employ or continue to employ a restricted person.

So, what is a ‘restricted person’?

A restricted person is somebody who has been:

  • convicted of a disqualifying offence;
  • issued with a negative notice;
  • has had their blue or exemption card suspended; or
  • has been charged with a disqualifying offence and the matter hasn’t been finalised.

Now, let’s look at restricted employment?

Restricted employment refers to situations that allow a person to work with children without a blue or exemption card, such as:

  • a volunteer parent
  • a volunteer who is under 18
  • paid or unpaid staff who work in regulated child-related employment for not more than 7 days in a calendar year
  • a person living with a disability who is employed at a place where the person also receives disability services or NDIS supports or services
  • a secondary school student on work experience who carries out disability-related work under the direct supervision of a person who holds a blue or exemption card.

Penalties apply to both:

  • the individual who starts or continues working in restricted employment as a restricted person; and
  • organisations who employ or continue to employ a restricted person in restricted employment.

Let’s look at some scenarios:

You run the local junior footy club and have a 16-year-old volunteering with kids each Wednesday night. Ordinarily, he is exempt from holding a blue card as he is a volunteer under the age of 18.

However, he has since told you that he was charged with a disqualifying offence on the weekend but is going to challenge it in court.

He is now a restricted person engaging in restricted employment and the volunteer exemption no longer applies. You cannot let him to continue volunteering with kids. If you do, you will be committing an offence. The maximum penalty that could apply is over $27,000, or 2 years imprisonment.

Let’s look at another scenario.

You are the blue card coordinator at your church. A few volunteer parents have called in sick and are unable to help with the kids’ youth group on Sunday. One parent says they are happy to volunteer for one day to help with the kids, but you know that the parent’s blue card is suspended. The parent is a restricted person and cannot rely on the volunteer parent exemption. If you allow the parent to volunteer, you will be committing an offence.

So, what can an organisation do to ensure they are complying with the laws?

We have developed resources to help your organisation comply with these laws. You can

  • download our restricted person, restricted employment checklist from our website
  • display our posters in your organisation
  • include a restricted person, restricted employment declaration for all people who rely on an exemption when working in your organisation
  • watch our information videos
  • promote the laws on your social media platforms

By working together we can build a stronger blue card system and keep Queensland kids safe.

For more information about restricted person and restricted employment visit our website at www.qld.gov.au/bluecard or phone our call centre on 1800 113 611, or send us an email at info@bluecard.qld.gov.au