U.K. child-care workers must undergo criminal checks or face fines

Organizations that use un-vetted volunteers could also face stiff penalties
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 10/15/2009

New child protection laws mean millions of people who work with children in the United Kingdom will have to undergo criminal record checks or risk being fined thousands of dollars.

Under the new Vetting and Barring Scheme, people who work with children on a regular basis will have to register themselves in a new database run by the Independent Safeguarding Authority. If they don't register, they could be prosecuted and fined up to C$9,000.

Organizations that use volunteers, such as the Cubs or Scouts, will also face fines of up to C$18,000 if they use volunteers who haven't been vetted.

A total of 11.3 million people, who come into contact with children or "vulnerable" adults at work, are expected to register, including school governors, doctors, nurses, teachers, dentists and prison officers.

The scheme was recommended after the murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman by a caretaker at their school in Soham, about an-hour-and-a-half north of London.

The caretaker, Ian Huntley, was given the job despite allegations of a history of having sex with underage girls.

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