PROTECTING YOUNG AND VULNERABLE WORKERS
Every month many thousands of children, young people and vulnerable adults enter the workplace. In England, apprenticeship participation data reported by HM Government’s Department for Education for the first two quarters of the 2018/19 academic year, shows that 602,400 participants in England were engaged onto an apprenticeship scheme.
Of the 602,400:
- 130,100 were aged under 19 years and
- 25,500 have learning difficulties and/or disabilities
Furthermore, 8,800 traineeship starts have been reported to date in 2018/19. Of these, 7,200 trainees were aged under 19 years.1
All parties involved in delivering apprenticeships or traineeships, have a legal and moral duty to take reasonable action to minimise risk of harm to those in their care. If employees engage directly or indirectly with children or vulnerable adults in the workplace, or when volunteering in the community, safeguarding matters should be considered. However, many employers recruiting young and vulnerable staff, or providing forms of work-related learning, do not realise that they have the primary duty of care. Consequently, many have inadequate safeguarding measures in place or may not be complying with the law or statutory guidance.
Moreover, safeguarding should be more than a ‘tick-box’ compliance matter as there can be significant associated risks and reputational issues for organisations and individuals if things go wrong. CEOs usually spend a significant part of their working day dealing with finance, risk and reputation. The three are clearly interlinked. An unprofitable organisation is unlikely to be managing its risks well. An organisation with a poor reputation is unlikely to attract investment. Poor risk mitigation strategies lead to future problems. On the flip side, when business leaders create a positive culture around safeguarding and it is embedded throughout an organisation, it results in a happier, healthier and more profitable business. Recognising and taking action to improve safeguarding standards also provides a visible leadership statement.
Safeguarding Law and Guidance
Safeguarding is the overarching term used to describe the protection of the health, well-being and human rights of individuals. This includes (among other things) discrimination, radicalisation and all forms of abuse.
Safeguarding legislation applies to young workers aged 18 years,2 children, defined in law as those under the age of 18 years, in addition to those up to the age of 25 with learning difficulties or disabilities and vulnerable adults,3 defined as over 18 years of age who may be unable to protect themselves from harm or exploitation.
How Corporate Safeguarding can help
CMPP partner Corporate Safeguarding has developed a first-step independent, evaluation process to raise safeguarding standards to better protect organisations and employees. Its PEMS® Safeguarding Compliance Audit is designed by experts to help corporates manage safeguarding in a responsible, structured, proactive way. A full audit determines risk levels of engagements and provide a clear diagnosis of where improvements can be made. If used as a due diligence tool, it aids compliance with legislation and statutory responsibilities, helps mitigate risk, raises safeguarding standards and, importantly, helps to protect young people, children and vulnerable adults at the beginning of their careers.
1 Dept for Education. Further Education and Skills, England: March 2019. Gov.uk
2 Legislation Apprenticeships Skills Children & Learning Act 2009. Gov.uk
3 Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006. Gov.uk
CMPP Partner Offer:
- Corporate Safeguarding is offering a FREE one-hour safeguarding consultation to CMPP Partner organisations.
- A £50* donation will also made to CMPP for all Corporate Safeguarding Audits and Face-to-Face Safeguarding and/or Corporate Investigation training for 6 delegates or more undertaken for CMPP Rushmoor partners.
*NB: This amount represents discounted charges and would be made on the proviso that the partner company agrees to donate this amount to CMPP.
To find out more or book a consultation please contact:
T: +44 (0)1256 316 525