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Explanatory Memorandum to Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults(Northern Ireland) Order 2003

Part Iii Protection of Vulnerable Adults

Articles 35-41 are broadly equivalent to Articles 3-6 and Articles 7, 8 and 10.  A duty is placed on providers of services to vulnerable adults to refer individuals to the Department for inclusion on the list of those deemed unsuitable to work with vulnerable adults which the Department will be required to maintain.  The conditions for referral are that the individual has been dismissed, transferred or otherwise removed from a care position on the grounds of misconduct which harmed a vulnerable adult or placed a vulnerable adult at risk of harm.  Requirements are also placed on employment agencies, nursing agencies and employment businesses to make referrals.  Certain other authorities may also make referrals.  The Department may place an individual on the list following a relevant inquiry and may transfer names on the existing PECS Register to the new list.  In all cases, the Department must follow certain procedures before placing an individual on the list; these include inviting the comments of the individual.

Articles 42-45 are broadly equivalent to Articles 11-14.  An individual will be able to appeal to a Social Care Tribunal against the Department’s decision to include his or her name on the list of those deemed unsuitable to work with vulnerable adults and to apply for his or her name to be removed from the list.  The Chief Constable or a director of social services may apply to the High Court for an individual to be restored to the list where specified criteria are met.

Articles 46-47  are broadly equivalent to Articles 16-17.  A provider of care to vulnerable adults who proposes to offer an individual work in a care position must check whether the individual is on the list of those deemed unsuitable to work with vulnerable adults held by the Department.  Provision is also made for checks to be carried out in relation to individuals supplied by employment agencies, nursing agencies and employment businesses.  The provisions as to how checks are to be carried out are the same as those in relation to children.  An individual will commit an offence if he knowingly applies for, offers to do, accepts or does any work in a care position.  It will be an offence for a person knowingly to employ a listed individual in a care position or to fail to remove such a person from a care position.  It will also be an offence knowingly to offer or procure work in a care position for a listed individual.

Articles 48-49 set out definitions of terms used in Part III, including “care position” and “vulnerable adult” and include transitional provisions.

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