Children on Campus Policy
Responsibility for policy: Director of Human Resources and Employment Relations
Approving authority: Vice-Chancellor
Last reviewed: May 2021
Next review date: May 2026
- This policy applies to all staff and students of the University of Waikato.
- The purpose of this policy is to
- acknowledge that many staff and students have childcare responsibilities which may, from time to time, require bringing children onto campus, and
- outline the framework of principles and arrangements to ensure the safety and proper supervision of children on campus.
- The following documents set out further information relevant to this policy:
- In this policy:
campus means the premises occupied by the University of Waikato in Hamilton, Tauranga and any other premises used by the University for teaching, learning, research and associated operational and support activities. It excludes premises leased by the University to other occupiers, such as the Campus Creche
child means a person under the age of 14 years, unless enrolled as a student at the University of Waikato
class means a lecture, tutorial, field trip or any other learning activity scheduled by the University of Waikato.
- Staff and students who bring children onto campus are responsible for the care and supervision of those children at all times.
- Staff and students who bring children onto campus must ensure that the presence of those children
- does not undermine the reasonable expectations of staff and students to be able to engage in University activities without disruption by children
- does not undermine the efficient and effective operation of the University, and
- complies with the University's Safety and Wellness Policy.
Access to hazardous areas
- Subject to clause 9 of this policy, children must not be allowed access to laboratories, workshops, storage areas for chemicals or equipment, construction sites, or areas where minor works or maintenance are being carried out.
Organised visits to campus
- A staff member who wishes to host a formally organised visit by children to campus must seek prior permission to do so from their line manager or, if required under the policy of the area concerened, from the relevant Pro Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor or equivalent.
- Clause 7 of this policy does not apply in respect of children on campus as part of a formally organised visit, provided that the staff member responsible for hosting the visit takes appropriate steps to ensure that the children are adequately supervised and protected from hazards.
- A staff member responsible for hosting a visit by children to campus is required to seek and follow the advice of the University's Health, Safety and Wellness Advisor about appropriate controls and levels of supervision and the identification of hazards.
Children in class
- A student who wishes to bring a child to a class must first seek permission to do so from the staff member conducting the class.
- Staff are expected to treat requests under clause 11 of this policy sympathetically.
- Permission under clause 11 of this policy may be granted for one or more classes per paper but must be for a limited period only, not exceeding five days.
- Staff are entitled to withdraw any permission granted under clause 11 of this policy if the child's presence proves disruptive.
Children in the workplace
- A staff member who wishes to routinely bring a child into their workplace must first seek permission to do so from their line manager.
- Line managers are expected to treat requests under clause 15 of this policy sympathetically; arrangements for a staff member to work from home might also be explored as an alternative.
- A staff member who brings a child to their workplace must take full responsibility for the child's supervision and must not expect other staff to share that responsibility.
- Staff who wish to apply for flexible working arrangements to meet childcare responsibilities may do so by following the process outlined in the Flexible Working Arrangements Policy.
- Staff or students must not knowingly bring children with infectious illnesses onto campus (For further details refer to the Infectious Disease Definition).
- Any member of staff who observes a situation involving children which appears to be in breach of this policy and/or the University's Safety and Wellness Policy is required immediately to take reasonable steps to prevent harm.
- Any member of staff who observes an accident involving injury to a child must report it as soon as possible using the University's incident reporting system; if the form cannot be submitted immediately, then it must be submitted with 48 hours of the accident.
- Complaints with respect to compliance with this policy may be referred in the first instance to the relevant Head of School, Director or equivalent, or line manager with a view to having them resolved informally.
- If a complaint is made about a staff member's decision under clause 11 of this policy, and that staff member is a Head of School, Director or equivalent, the complaint should be referred for resolution to the relevant Pro Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor or equivalent.
- If a complaint is made about a line manager's decision under clause 8 or clause 15 of this policy, the complaint should be referred for resolution to the Director of Human Resources and Employment Relations.
- Complaints under clauses 22, 23 and 24 of this policy must be dealt with promptly to minimise any uncertainty or disruption to students and/or staff in their university activities.
- Where a complaint made under clause 22 of this policy is not able to be resolved informally or remains unresolved after 20 days, it may be referred for resolution to:
- the relevant Pro Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor or equivalent where the complaint is about a student
- the Director of Human Resources and Employment Relations where the complain its about a staff member.
- Serious and/or repeated complaints may be referred for resolution under the Staff Code of Conduct, with respect to staff, or the Student Discipline Regulations, with respect to students.
Responsibility for monitoring compliance
- The Director of Human Resources and Employment Relations is responsible for monitoring compliance with this policy and reporting any breaches to the Vice-Chancellor.
- Breaches of this policy by staff may result in disciplinary action under the Staff Code of Conduct.
- Breaches of this policy by students may result in disciplinary action under the Student Discipline Regulations.