Compliance

Relevant legislation and regulations:

Risk Attestation

The Department of Health (DHS) and DEECD funded organisations are required to make an annual 'attestation' or declaration on their risk management strategies. This is done online through the Funded Agency Channel.  More information on this process can be found in this document from Victorian Managed Insurance Authority (VMIA) which is a Statutory Authority established by the Victorian Managed Insurance Authority Act 1996.

Occupational Health and Safety

Neighbourhood Houses need to comply with the Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) Act. Employer's responsibilities are laid out in the Occupational Health and Safety regulations which can be found in the Victorian Law Today Library.

Worksafe is the government department responsible for occupational health and safety in the state of Victoria.

Industrial Relations

Workplace agreements

Neighbourhood Houses are covered by a variety of workplace agreements, depending on the agreements that their governing body signed on to, the options are:

Neighbourhood Houses & Adult Community Education Centres Collective Agreement 2010. For more information about this collective agreement and current pay tables click here

Neighbourhood Houses & Adult Community Education Centres Collective Agreement 2007 and 2008. 2007 or 2008 Agreement respondents that did not sign on to the NHACE Collective Agreement 2010, continue to be bound by the older agreement. For more information about this collective agreement and current pay tables click here.

Auspiced houses are covered by the agreement from the organisation that auspices them, e.g. Local Council.

If your Neighbourhood House is not signed onto one of the sector collective agreements (2007, 2008 or 2010) or any other agreement your pay and conditions are governed by the award system. The applicable awards are the Social, Community, Home Care & Disability Services (SCHADS), the Educational Services Post Secondary Education (ESPSE) and the Children's Services Awards 2010 (these replace the SACS VIC, PACCT & Children's Services Awards respectively).

If you aren't sure which agreement your Neighbourhood House is covered by, contact the ANHLC on 03 954 1104 and they will be able to tell you.

Tax and superannuation

Neighbourhood Houses who are incorporated associations are classed as non-profit organisations by the Australia Taxation Office (ATO).

Industrial relations issues

Jobs Australia provides expert industrial relations and human resources advice to the sector. To access their services you need to be a member which entitles you to a number of benefits including consultation and representation, business support, non profit business and governance advice, industrial relations advice and much more.

Incorporation

Neighbourhood Houses who are incorporated need to comply with the Associations Incorporations Act. A copy of the act and regulations can be found in the Victorian Law Today Library.

As of 1 November 2012 a new act was introduced called the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012 (the Act). This replaces the Associations Incorporation Act 1981. More information on what the changes in the Act mean for your organisation can be found on the Consumer Affairs website or the ANHLC website.

Organisations looking to incorporate

For more information about how to go about becoming an incorporated association visit the Consumer Affairs website.

Disability Discrimination Act

The Federal Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (D.D.A.) provides protection for everyone in Australia against discrimination based on disability.

More information on the act, including your responsibilities, can be found here.

Human Rights Charter

The Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities contains twenty basic rights that promote and protect the values of freedom, respect, equality and dignity.

The Victorian Government, local councils and other public authorities must not knowingly be in breach of these rights, and must always consider them when they create laws, develop policies and deliver their services

Privacy

In addition to other rights the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 established the general right to privacy for individuals.

More information on privacy can be found on the Privacy Victoria website.

Copyright Act

Some key points about the Act:

  • Copyright protection is free and applies automatically when material is created.
  • There is NO registration system for copyright in Australia.
  • Copyright does not protect ideas, information, styles or techniques.
  • Copyright does not protect names, titles or slogans.
  • There are no general exemptions from copyright law for non-profit organisations.
  • There are some situations where copyright law allows people to use copyright material without permission for their own personal use, but these are narrow and specific.
  • Australian copyright law applies to actions that take place in Australia, even if the material used was created or first published in another country.

Where a work is made by an employee (rather than a freelancer) as part of that personʼs job, the employer usually owns copyright. For people employed on staff who are creating material for newspapers, magazines and other periodicals, the employer will own most of the copyright, but the employee will usually own copyright for some purposes (photocopying and publication in books).

More information on how the Act works can be found here

An alternative to copyright, called Creative Commons, has been developed to cover the middle ground between copy right laws and the reality of the internet. For more information on Creative Commons check out the Neighbourhood Houses ICT website.

Childcare

Childcare regulations

Childcare services in Victoria are covered by two different sets of regulations:

  1. Education and Care Services which are defined as family day care, long day care, outside school hours care services and preschools (kindergartens) have the National Quality Framework applied and are covered by the Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010 (National Law) and Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011 (National Regulations)
  2. Victorian Children Services which are defined as all limited hours and short term licensed services, a small number of other services that currently hold a standard licence including budget-based services not funded for Child Care Benefit, occasional care, early childhood intervention, and mobile services, and a small number of school holiday care programs are covered by the Victorian Children's Services Act 1996 (Victorian Act) and Victorian Children's Services Regulations 2009 (Victorian Regulations).

More information on these regulations can be found on the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development website.

Events and fundraising

Food Handling Regulations

For more information on food handling regulations and guidelines for your organisation, contact your local Council.

Liquor Licencing

If you are selling alcohol at an event at your house you need to comply with the liquor licencing laws. The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation website has really useful information to help you to select the type of licence you need and steps to help you go about it.

Fundraising Legislation (e.g. for raffles)

Fundraising activities which meet certain criteria require an authority to fundraise for them to be within the law. Our Community has put together a great precise on the legislation which will help you understand whether you need to apply for a licence for your fundraising activity.