Psychological Assessment Update

13 July 2017

Recent communications from DCP to all staff have highlighted the Child and Young People (Safety) Bill 2017 has included amendments that require staff working in licensed residential facilities to undertake psychological testing. Currently it is not clear whether government run facilities are covered by this requirement. This new legislation is not yet enacted, i.e. conditions of employment today are the same as yesterday. Additionally, the legislation does not remove the rights of Public Servants to be treated fairly in accordance with the Public Sector Act. As the legislative process progresses over time the PSA will continue to update members.

The right to review an employment decision that might be unreasonable, unjust and harsh and remains unchanged.

Please see the previous PSA Information Update (here) and its attachment (here) for further information.

The PSA has been informed that some members have received letters regarding the Psychological Assessments, the majority appear to be workers that are not currently actively working on the floor. The PSA has been assisting members through the internal review process and applications have been submitted. The PSA is continuing to support members throughout this process and have ensured the reviews are conducted by a reviewer outside the agency.

It is important to note that members can also contact the PSA Members’ Rights Hotline on 8205 3227 when seeking assistance.

Depending on the outcome of internal reviews, the Public Sector Grievance Review Commission (now located under the South Australian Employment Tribunal) can hear an external review. The PSA will provide members further assistance if an external review is required.

The PSA has also been informed that staff in administrative areas of the Residential Care directorate were requested to undertake the testing. This created another dispute matter regarding the position of DCP scope of the testing. DCP have stated that this was never their position or an agreement and they will ensure that all staff who ‘might’ work with children are also assessed. It is now unclear who is not undertaking the test. The PSA remain concerned about the lack of clarity and transparency in DCP communications and the apparent ‘policy on the run’ approach to child protection.