What a waste!
Thousands of shops, restaurants and cafés will be forced to register their staff with a new child protection agency and have their criminal records checked if they employ children for weekend or summer holiday work.
Any staff responsible for supervising children under 16 will have to be vetted. The measure is in the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act, which was passed in 2006. It was originally intended to screen teachers, nursery staff and youth workers more effectively by requiring them to register with a new quango, the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA), but ministers have decided to extend its scope to businesses.
The ISA will conduct enhanced checks through the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and give individuals – at a cost of £64 each – a “seal of approval” for working with children. The measure also covers work experience.
So anyone who tries to do what I did successfully at the age of 14, get a job washing up in the back of a curry house for two nights a week during the summer holidays, will now find that businesses don\’t want to employ them as all of their staff will have to be checked: even if it\’s just the supervisory staff that would be three or four people, £250 quid say. Something they don\’t haveto pay if they hire a 17 year old.
But the most up-to-date estimate from the Home Office, which now includes businesses employing under 16s, is that 11.3 million people will have to register.
The group has also discovered that the Government’s estimated cost for setting up and running the ISA for the first five years has grown from £91.6 million to £246 million as its scope has increased.
Umm, no, a most misleading figure.
The Government says that the ISA will be “self-funding” but employers will have to bear the £64 cost of registering each staff member,
£64 times 11 million people is, ermm, £720 million or so a year. Oh my! How Excellent!
We\’re headed into a recession and we\’re going to price young workers out of the market and cost businesses the thick end of a billion pounds for, umm, paperwork?
Can we hang them all yet?