In this not-for-profit sector update, we look at the requirements of a newly introduced Governance Standard which requires entities to take steps to join the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse.
Looking at the ACNC Governance Standard 6
Amendments to the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Regulation introduce a new governance standard effective 25 February 2021.
Governance Standard 6 requires registered entities to take reasonable steps to join the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse (Redress Scheme) if the entity is, or is likely to be, identified as being involved in the abuse of an applicant for redress under the Redress Scheme.
The National Redress Scheme
The Redress Scheme was established by the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Act 2018 on 1 July 2018 in response to recommendations by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Under the Redress Scheme, survivors of institutional child sexual abuse may receive redress in the form of:
- a redress payment of up to $150,000;
- counselling and psychological care; and
- an optional direct personal response from the responsible participating institution.
The Redress Scheme operates on an opt-in basis, where responsible participating institutions are liable to pay their share of the costs of redress payments and counselling and psychological care.
Survivors of institutional child sexual abuse will not be able to access redress under the Redress Scheme if the institutions responsible fail to join the scheme.
Potential penalties for non-compliance
The introduction of the new Governance Standard 6 means institutions that fail to join the Redress scheme when required to do so will be subject to penalties including suspension of tax concessions and suspension of charitable status for breaching the new standard.
Standard 6 only applies to a registered entity that is, or is likely to be, identified as being involved in the abuse of a person, either:
- in an application for redress made under section 19 of the Redress Act; or
- in information given in response to a request made under section 24 or 25 of the Redress Act.
Application is not limited to institutions identified in the Royal Commission. Officers of the Redress Scheme are expected to notify organisations identified as being in the abuse of an applicant for redress.
Get in touch
If you are not sure how the new Governance Standard 6 applies to your organisation or if it raises issues for your organisation in terms of responsibilities for past institutional child sexual abuse, please get in touch with the NFP Team at Birchgrove Legal on (02) 9018 1067.