Religious discrimination in employment in Victorian schools: The exceptions narrow

The purpose of changes to the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic) (the Act) from 14 June 2022, which apply to the employment practices of schools, are said to better balance the right to equality with the right to religious freedom, so that both can be appropriately recognised and enjoyed. The Act makes discrimination against the […]

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Vaccination mandates in Victorian schools are lifted

The Victorian Government announced on 18 June 2022 that it proposed to lift its imposed third dose mandates in education. This has now been done. Lifting of mandates All vaccination mandates for education workers in Victoria were lifted from 11.59pm on Friday, 24 June 2022 under Pandemic (Workplace) Order 2022 (No 9). The Pandemic Order […]

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Detention time for parents in Victorian schools

Schools in Victoria will have new powers from 28 June 2022 to address the risk of occupational violence and aggression directed towards school staff by certain adults, including by school parents. These new laws provide for: Principals to make orders to protect members of school communities from harmful, threatening or abusive behaviour on school grounds […]

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COVID-19 | Mandatory vaccination in the education sector in Victoria – medical exemptions

The Chief Health Officer has received reports from some general practitioners that they are facing significant pressure from a small minority of people who do not want to be vaccinated for reasons other than the limited medical exemptions that exist. There have also been patients who are attending multiple clinics seeking an exemption. In response, […]

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COVID-19 | Mandatory vaccination in the education sector in Victoria

Updated as at 8 October 2021 Directions have been made by the Acting Chief Health Officer making mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations a requirement for staff to work in schools (including school boarding premises), childcare and early childhood services in Victoria. Who do the Directions apply to? The Directions apply to ‘education operators’, being those who own, […]

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Casual employees – review of the new rights and obligations under the NES

The amendments to the National Employment Standard regarding casual employees are about bringing certainty to casual employment arrangements. Employers should now be considering what steps they need to take to comply with the NES including assessing offers of conversion for employees who commenced employment prior to 27 March 2021. This is particularly relevant as there […]

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No Jab, No Play requirements tightened

The Victorian Government has tightened the “No Jab, No Play” laws by banning early childhood services from accepting letters from doctors excusing children from immunisations. Since 1 January 2016, early childhood services have been required to obtain evidence of a child’s immunisation history, as part of the Victorian government’s no jab, no play policy. Specifically, […]

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Employee unfairly terminated after suspension of WWC Check – schools must take a cautious approach

Schools should tread carefully when considering whether to terminate the employment of a teacher or other employee whose Working with Children Check has been suspended because of pending criminal charges. A recent case before the Fair Work Commission, following a series of similar cases in New South Wales, concerned a teacher whose employment was terminated […]

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Data breaches by schools – complying with the Mandatory Data Breach scheme

The Notifiable Data Breach scheme which requires organisations, including schools, to mandatorily report eligible data breaches to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner begins on 22 February 2018. An eligible data breach will occur if: there is unauthorised access to, unauthorised disclosure of, or loss of, personal information held by the school; and a […]

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Are you ready for changes to the National Quality Framework?

From 1 October 2017 changes to the Education and Care Services National Law and Regulations (as implemented across Australia) will take effect in all States and Territories, except in Western Australia where the changes will take effect from 1 October 2018. A revised National Quality Standard will also take effect in all jurisdictions from 1 […]

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School uniform policy found to be discriminatory on religious grounds

A Melton Christian school has been found to have discriminated against a young Sikh student because its uniform policy explicitly required boys to have short hair and did not permit students to wear any head coverings related to a non-Christian faith. The student, who was 5 years old, had uncut hair and wore a head […]

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WWC Checks – changes to strengthen protections but is a WWC Check enough for schools?

From 1 August 2017 changes came into effect to increase the protection for children by broadening the type of contact with children for which a working with children check is required. However, schools should carefully consider whether in all cases relying only on a WWC Check is enough. Prior to the changes, a WWC Check […]

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