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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

30 MAY 2008

Government responds to second ISA consultation

The Government today published its formal response to the recent consultation on the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) scheme for vetting and barring those who wish to work, either paid or unpaid, with children or vulnerable adults. The response document sets out the Governments evaluation of stakeholders responses to the consultation and next steps.

It has been produced jointly by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, Home Office and Department of Health.

Where young people under 16 work, the adults who teach, train or instruct them in the workplace will not be required to register with the ISA scheme. But it will be an offence for a barred adult to do this work, or for an employer knowingly to use a barred person for this work.

The response confirms the proposal in the consultation document that those who teach, train or instruct 16 and 17 year olds in mixed age settings in higher education and sport and leisure will not have to register with the ISA scheme. But again it will be an offence for a barred adult to do this work, or for an employer knowingly to use a barred person for this work.

Employers will be required to refer to the ISA any employees whom they dismiss or would have dismissed on the grounds that they have harmed or pose a risk of harm to the vulnerable groups.

In response to the consultation the Government have concluded that, when the ISA is considering whether to bar someone, it must proactively inform any employer whom the ISA knows has an interest in the employee and who may be unaware that that employee is under consideration. This will happen at the point when the ISA thinks the employer should be aware of a potential risk of harm to the vulnerable groups. However before informing the employer, the ISA must be satisfied that the referral is not clearly unfounded or malicious, and also that it is not trivial but is serious enough to warrant consideration for barring.

The ISA scheme will go live in October 2009. People who work in, or volunteer to carry out, regulated activity with the vulnerable groups will be required to register with the scheme. Employers will be able to register their interest in being notified of any change in their workers status in the scheme.

For further information, visit the DCSF website: www.dcsf.gov.uk/consultations.

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