Changes to the blue card system… coming SOON!
Current and prospective blue card holders need to be aware of major changes to the blue card system in Queensland that take effect from 31st August 2020.
The new requirements will affect current and future blue card holders. Anyone intending to work in August or September this year in a regulated position that requires a blue card should take immediate steps to apply for or renew their card if it is shortly due to expire.
“No card, No start”
Until now, applicants have been free to apply for a blue card and start work immediately, prior to their blue card being approved or issued. Applicants could continue working unless the blue card application was denied. This will no longer be the case from 31st August.
Applicants will be prohibited from working in a regulated position until they have a blue card approval. The Queensland Government suggests allowing at least 28 days for this process. There are no exceptions to the new rules and therefore any person who does not already have a blue card and is expecting to start work in the coming weeks should immediately lodge their application.
What if I have already submitted my blue card application?
Those who have already submitted an application for a blue card prior to 31st August can continue working while their application is being assessed.
What about existing blue card holders?
Changes to reporting obligations
The new laws will require blue card holders to immediately report any changes in their “police information” directly to the Queensland Government. “Police information” includes any offence that you have been charged or convicted of. The Queensland Government will make the decision as to whether the offence is a disqualifying one.
From 31st August, submitting a change in information form to the Government will be your own responsibility as a card holder rather than the employer’s responsibility (as is currently the case). If your information does change, you will only need to tell your employer that you have notified the Government of a change but you will not be required to give specific details of the change of information to your employer, unless you have a workplace obligation to do so, such as a workplace policy.
The maximum penalty for failing to report a change in police information is $13,345.
Changes to exemptions and “restricted employment”
- has been issued a negative notice;
- has a suspended blue card;
- is a disqualified person; or
- has been charged with a disqualifying offence that has not been finalised.
Changes to exemption cards for police officers and teachers
Frequency test exemption
If you are unsure of your obligations under the new requirements or need assistance completing your application form, you can contact Blue Card Services.
For employers concerned as to your obligations under the new laws or for advice in regards to implementing workplace policies dealing with reporting
obligations by your employees, we recommend that you seek urgent legal advice to avoid the substantial penalties that will