Children in the workplace FAQs
The purpose of these FAQs is to provide information and guidance in relation to children (i.e. those under 18 years of age), in the workplace at the University of Adelaide and to meet the requirements of the University's Health and Safety Policy.
The University, has the “Primary duty of care” under the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (SA) to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the health and safety of any other person, including children are not put at risk from work carried out as part of the conduct of the business or undertaking.
What activities does this information sheet apply to?
This information sheet applies:
- to any University-related activity, work, research, teaching
- where a parent/guardian brings a child into the workplace while they are undertaking a University activity.
The workplace includes:
- all of the University-controlled spaces and spaces in which University-related work is being undertaken
- as part of an off-campus activity.
Why might children be in the University workplace?
Children might be on campus or in the workplace due to one of the following reasons:
- Under the direct supervision of the University:
- as students enrolled in a course at the University
- as a participant in an outreach, engagement or marketing program of the University
- as a participant in research or teaching activity as research or teaching subjects.
- visiting/attending the workplace with their parent or guardian
- as a member of the public.
- Under the direct supervision of the University:
What considerations need to be given to scenarios where children are enrolled in a course at the University?
It is not uncommon for first year undergraduate students to be under 18 years of age due to differential progression rates through primary and secondary schooling. Course coordinators need to give consideration to the age of the enrolled students when planning course components or related activities that are likely to involve under-age students.
Any courses that are targeted at or predominantly contain students under the age of 18 must adhere to the requirements of the University’s Employment Screening Procedure and Safe Environments for Children and Vulnerable People Policy.
It would be good practice for courses that may incidentally contain some under-age students, to adhere to the requirements of the University’s Employment Screening Procedure and Safe Environments for Children and Vulnerable People Policy, where the course may involve either overnight activities or activities that may involve a lecturer/tutor/demonstrator/guide/mentor being alone with an under-age student.
Due consideration should be given to the level of supervision required for any hazardous activities that under-age students may be required to undertake to fulfil the requirements of their course.
What considerations need to be given to scenarios where children are involved in outreach, engagement or marketing activity at the University?
The University will often run activities for, or designed to, attract school aged students to engage with the University. Where these activities are undertaken within the University’s workplace, the organising staff or volunteers must be mindful of the hazards associated with any activity and give due consideration to controls to prevent children from injuring themselves.
Staff that regularly organise for groups of children to attend the University must follow the requirements of the University’s Employment Screening Procedure and Safe Environments for Children and Vulnerable People Policy.
What considerations need to be given to scenarios where children are participating as subjects in research or teaching activity at the University?
The University requires that any research involving human subjects obtains the appropriate ethical clearance. Where the research being carried out involves subjects whom are under 18 years of age, the research team must follow the requirements of the University of Adelaide Employment Screening Procedure and Safe Environments for Children and Vulnerable People Policy.
What considerations need to be given to scenarios where children are visiting the University with their parent or guardian?
It is important that any children brought into the workplace by their parents:
- are not provided access to any laboratory, workshop or other area that contains hazardous plant, equipment or chemicals
- are not left unattended within University buildings, in a University vehicle or at a University field site
- are not placed into any situation that may endanger the child
- does not disrupt the workplace or the activities of other workers.
Are there situations where children should not be permitted in the workplace?
There are numerous situations where the presence of children (other than enrolled undergraduate students, work experience students or children being guided on a formal tour) in a University workplace would represent an unacceptable risk to either the child, the University or both and as such are inadvisable, these include:
- any location where hazardous chemicals, biological agents or radioactive materials are in use
- any location where hazardous plant or equipment is in use
- animal houses, plant rooms, roof tops, hazardous field locations, boats
- on tractors, headers, quadbikes or other farm machinery/equipment
- any building sites where public access is restricted
- during any examinations the child/children are not enrolled in
- any activity from which children would normally be restricted.
Should I seek permission if I need to bring my child to or have my child in the workplace for part of the day?
Given the potential for disruption of your own work or the work of others it is reasonable to discuss with your supervisor or person who has control of the area whether it is acceptable for you to have your child in the workplace.
Where the workplace has any hazards that could impact on the safety of your child, you should consult your supervisor or person who has control of the area as to the appropriateness of having your child in the workplace.
For off-campus activities
Please note that some activities will require formal approval by the Head of School/Branch (e.g. boating activities) prior to conducting the activity. Please refer to the HSW Procedures for the additional requirements.
Where can I find more information on children in the workplace?
Please contact your local HSW team.