Procedures

Children on Campus - Procedure

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1.0    Purpose and Scope

The purpose of this procedure is to outline the conditions in which children are permitted to be on Campus at The University of Queensland (UQ or the University) and engaging in UQ Related Conduct where applicable. This procedure applies to all members of the UQ Community.

For the purposes of this procedure, UQ considers a child to be an individual of 15 years of age or under and who is not an enrolled student at UQ.

This procedure should be read and applied in conjunction with the Diversity, Equity and Inclusive Behaviours Policy.

1.1    Context

This procedure recognises UQ’s commitment to supporting members of the UQ Community who care for children and outlines how we support our community in this.

2.0    Process and Key Controls

A responsible adult must supervise the safety and welfare of children under their care at all times while on a UQ Campus or Site.

Approval is required for a child to be enrolled in a program or course at UQ in line with sections 3 and 4 below. 

Approval is required for a Staff member or Student to bring a child under their care into the work or study environment.

Areas considered Restricted and Higher Risk Areas are not to be accessed by children.  Other areas may be identified as unsuitable for children as determined by a risk assessment. Supervisors of the respective areas are required to inform staff and students of these requirements or restrictions.

3.0    Key Requirements

3.1    Children who are under the care of Staff or Students 

3.1.1    Permission to bring a child into the work or study environment

A Staff member or Student must seek permission to bring a child/children under their care into the work or study environment from:

  • For Staff – their supervisor; or

  • For Students – Student Services, in conjunction with the relevant course coordinator.

It is not envisaged that children are routinely brought into the workplace or study environment as an alternative to regular, organised childcare arrangements. Staff are encouraged to access Carers Leave; flexible work arrangements or other recognised leave to accommodate childcare needs.

Any requests to bring a child/children under their care into the work or study environment will ordinarily be made well in advance and in writing.

In considering a request for permission from a Staff member or Student to bring a child/children under their care into the work or study environment from the supervisor or Student Services (in consultation with the Course Coordinator) will give consideration to:

  • the extenuating circumstances which necessitate bringing a child/children into the work or study environment;

  • any potential risks to the child and/or others, including the level and nature of the risk, as well as mitigating considerations that might be applied to reduce those risks;

  • any suggested benefits associated with bringing the child/children into the workplace;

  • alternative options available to the Staff member or Student;

  • the suitability and safety of the work or study environment for a child/children;

  • the potential impact the child/children on the work or study environment;

  • the reasonableness of the request, in accordance with the framework of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld); and

  • any other relevant considerations.

3.1.2    Examinations areas

Children are not permitted in examination areas at any time, unless they are a Student attending an examination for an enrolled course and have received permission from the examination supervisor. 

If a Student is unable to attend an exam due to unexpected circumstances related to carer responsibilities for a child/children, they may apply for a deferred examination (see section 3.9 of the Examinations Procedure).  Applications for deferral must be supported by evidence, such as a medical certificate for the child/children / or a statutory declaration.

3.1.3    Requirement to remove a child/children from a work or study environment

There may be situations where parents/carers are required to remove a child from a work or study environment, including (but not limited to) if:

  • the child’s presence is inappropriate, disruptive or presents health and safety risks to others; and/or 

  • the health and safety of the child is at risk; and/or

  • the appropriate permissions have not been granted by relevant authorities in accordance with this procedure.

A request to remove a child from a UQ work or study environment can be made by:

  • a student or staff member’s supervisor and/or or Head of School (or equivalent); 

  • a member of UQ teaching staff;

  • a member of UQ Security; and/or

  • a staff member who has authority over the area where the child is located. 

3.1.4    Unattended children

Children who are not under the direct supervision of a parent/carer in accordance with this procedure are to be supervised by an appropriate member of University staff to ensure their safety until their parent/carer is located. Once the child is safe, staff are to:

  • inform Campus Security regarding the situation; and

  • make every effort to locate the child/ren’s parent/carer.

3.2    Children who are Students at the University

The relevant Executive Dean and the Academic Registrar must approve applications for admission made by a child who wishes to study a program or course at the University. Refer to the Undergraduate, Doctor of Medicine, Non-Award and CSP Admissions Procedure for further details on the admission of children to a program or course.

3.3    Children on Campus for recreational, outreach and other activities

Children attending a UQ Campus or Site for Recreational, Outreach or Other Activities must be supervised by a responsible adult or adults. Responsible adults may include Staff, Students, other members of the UQ Community and/or parents/carers, depending on the nature of the activity. 

The responsible adult or adults must ensure:

  • any legislative requirements relating to the supervision of children are met;

  • any identified potential risks are mitigated through prior assessment and planning;

  • children receive adequate support and supervision while involved the activity; and

  • the safety and welfare needs of the child are met at all times.

3.4    Field Trips

Parents/carers may take children on field trips, only after attaining permission from the Head of School (or equivalent), with due consideration to any potential conflict of interest regarding involved parties. Applications should be made well in advance of the activity to ensure adequate time to conduct a detailed risk assessment and enable due consideration of all relevant factors. 

Applications are to be assessed on the merits of each individual case (and repeat thereof), in consideration of the factors detailed in Section 3.1 and the outcome of a comprehensive risk assessment that specifically addresses the presence of children on the field trip.  Factors that may mitigate any additional risk to the child/others and/or the children’s impact on research/teaching outcomes must be considered as part of the risk assessment and approval process.

Approvals, the justification for non-approval and any additional caveats/requirements are to be provided in writing by the Head of School (or equivalent) to the parent/carer.  

3.5    Children as passengers in UQ vehicles

Approval must be sought from a supervisor and/or or Head of School (or equivalent) prior to carrying children who are not enrolled students of the University in vehicles or other forms of University transportation.  Vehicles which form part of a remuneration package for senior UQ staff are not considered to be University vehicles for the purpose of this procedure.

3.6    Staff who are children

Supervisors have particular responsibilities for children who are employed by UQ, either as trainees, permanent/contracted employees, casual workers and/or working under other forms of paid employment.  

Prior to commencement of employment, Human Resources must: 

  • determine if there are any legislative or other impediments to the child being able to engage in work activities due to their status as a minor;

  • develop and provide age-appropriate induction training;

  • conduct a risk assessment and address any identified areas of risk; and/or

  • identify and implement any special accommodations that need to be made (for example, additional supervision, Blue Cards, or welfare requirements, limitations to hours of work), noting that the University workplace environment is primarily intended for adult workers.

4.0    Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

4.1    Executive Deans and Academic Registrar

Processing applications to study made by a child, in accordance with Section 3.2.

4.2    Human Resources

  • Providing advice to Staff regarding bringing children onto Campus.

  • Assisting with resolving any potential workplace issues regarding bringing children into workplaces. 

  • Providing advice and/or assist with negotiating positive outcomes for Staff regarding bringing children onto Campus.

4.3    Supervisors and Course Coordinators

Assessing requests to bring children into work or study spaces in accordance with Section 3.1, to ensure the safety and well-being of the child or children, Staff and Students.

4.4    Student Affairs

  • Providing advice and/or support to Students with caring responsibilities, who may need to bring children onto Campus. 

  • Assisting the Student in determining a Student Access Plan which will consider the adjustment request.

  • Providing the Student Supervision Program for the welfare of Students classified as a child.

5.0    Monitoring, Review and Assurance

Human Resources, Student Affairs and Academic Services Staff will review the relevance and currency of this procedure periodically and update changes as required.

6.0    Recording and Reporting

The prompt reporting and recording of incidents involving children on Campus and any aspect of this procedure is important to maintaining safe, inclusive and supportive work and study environments for Staff, Students and the children of Staff and Students.

Non-compliance with this procedure should be reported to the relevant area as detailed in 5.0. 

7.0    Appendix

7.1    Definitions

Affiliates - academic title-holders, visiting academics, emeritus professors, adjunct and honorary title-holders, industry fellows, and conjoint appointments.

Restricted and High Risk Areas

There are some areas of the University where children are not permitted due to potential health and safety risks to the child and/or others. These areas may be High Risk Areas or Restricted areas.

This exclusion from some areas of the University does not apply to children who are enrolled students of the University and/or engaged in supervised programs and/or leisure activities specifically designed for children.

Children are excluded from the following areas unless a specific risk based assessment is undertaken and their presence is not prevented by law.

High Risk Areas may present potential health and safety risks to a child and/or others, for example:

  • fitness facilities

  • clinics

  • performing arts studios

  • live performance venues

  • swimming pools and other aquatic facilities

  • field trips.

Examples provided in the above list are not exhaustive or limiting.

Restricted areas include (but are not limited to):

  • all laboratories and similar research and/or teaching facilities and ancillary areas, for example: glasshouses, aquatic facilities, insectaries, animal houses and scientific, technical and maintenance workshops;

  • all high risk plant, equipment and/or facilities, for example: farm equipment, forklift movement areas, loading docks, server rooms and electrical risers;

  • the free weights areas and around gym equipment with moving parts within a gymnasium;

  • chemical stores and chemical storage areas;

  • areas where food is prepared in large volumes, for example: commercial kitchens;

  • clinical and human movement environments; and

  • construction sites and sites under refurbishment.

Examples provided in the above list are not exhaustive or limiting.

Recreational, Outreach and Other Activities - includes:

  • UQ-sponsored events, activities and workshops;

  • visits to Campus venues such as clinics, museums, restaurants and libraries; and/or

  • various sporting, recreational and community activities.

Staff - continuing, fixed-term, research (contingent funded) and casual staff members.

Students - a person enrolled as a student at the University or undertaking courses or programs at the University.

UQ Campus or Site - a recognised UQ work-place, work or study environment used / authorised by UQ, including off-site activities, laboratories, workshops, plant rooms and chemical storage areas for the purposes of this procedure. This excludes telecommuting arrangements where a UQ Staff member is working from home.

UQ Community - means current UQ Students, Staff (whether or not those staff are covered by the Enterprise Agreement), Volunteers, Affiliates and anyone else contractually bound to comply with this procedure. 

UQ Related Conduct - means any conduct that is connected to UQ’s functions or operations, including conduct that:

  • occurs during, or in connection with, any function, activity or event related to UQ (whether sanctioned by UQ or otherwise);

  • occurs when a person is representing UQ in any capacity;

  • occurs during, or in connection with, the performance of duties for UQ;

  • occurs using, or is facilitated by, UQ ICT resources or other UQ equipment; or

  • occurs on, or in connection with, any property owned, leased or occupied by UQ (or any entities it controls) or any lands or roads within any UQ campus.

Volunteers - members of the community who donate their services in a voluntary capacity to UQ without expectation of remuneration. Volunteers include those undertaking work on fundraising and community-oriented projects, tertiary Students wishing to gain exposure to particular UQ functions, among others.

Custodians
Chief Human Resources Officer Dr Al Jury
Custodians
Chief Human Resources Officer Dr Al Jury