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AGED CARE ACT 1997 - SECT 96.8

Protection for reporting reportable assaults

Disclosures qualifying for protection

             (1)  A disclosure of information by a person (the discloser ) qualifies for protection under this section if:

                     (a)  the discloser is:

                              (i)  an approved provider of residential care in respect of which the provider is approved; or

                             (ii)  a staff member (as defined in section 63-1AA) of such an approved provider; and

                     (b)  the disclosure is made to:

                              (i)  a police officer; or

                             (ii)  the Secretary; or

                            (iii)  the approved provider; or

                            (iv)  one of the approved provider's * key personnel; or

                             (v)  another person authorised by the approved provider to receive reports of alleged or suspected * reportable assaults; and

                     (c)  the discloser informs the person to whom the disclosure is made of the discloser's name before making the disclosure; and

                     (d)  the discloser has reasonable grounds to suspect that the information indicates that a reportable assault has occurred; and

                     (e)  the discloser makes the disclosure in good faith.

Immunities for disclosure

             (2)  If a person makes a disclosure that qualifies for protection under this section:

                     (a)  the person is not subject to any civil or criminal liability for making the disclosure; and

                     (b)  no contractual or other remedy may be enforced, and no contractual or other right may be exercised, against the person on the basis of the disclosure.

Note:          This subsection does not provide that the person is not subject to any civil or criminal liability for conduct of the person that is revealed by the disclosure.

             (3)  Without limiting subsection (2):

                     (a)  the person:

                              (i)  has qualified privilege in proceedings for defamation relating to the disclosure; and

                             (ii)  is not liable to an action for defamation at the suit of another person relating to the disclosure; and

                     (b)  a contract to which the person is a party may not be terminated on the basis that the disclosure constitutes a breach of the contract.

             (4)  Paragraphs (2)(a) and (3)(a) do not affect any other right, privilege or immunity the person has as a defendant in proceedings, or an action, for defamation.

             (5)  Without limiting paragraphs (2)(b) and (3)(b), if a court is satisfied that:

                     (a)  a person (the employee ) is employed in a particular position under a contract of employment with another person (the employer ); and

                     (b)  the employee makes a disclosure that qualifies for protection under this section; and

                     (c)  the employer purports to terminate the contract of employment on the basis of the disclosure;

the court may:

                     (d)  order that the employee be reinstated in that position or a position at a comparable level; or

                     (e)  order the employer to pay the employee an amount instead of reinstating the employee, if the court considers it appropriate to make the order.

Prohibitions on victimisation for disclosure

             (6)  A person must not cause detriment (by act or omission) to another person because the other person makes a disclosure that qualifies for protection under this section.

Note:          If the other person is a staff member (as defined in section 63-1AA) of an approved provider, the provider has a responsibility under that section to ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, compliance with subsections (6) and (7). Sanctions may be imposed on the provider under Part 4.4 if the provider does not comply with the responsibility.

             (7)  A person must not make to another person a threat (whether express or implied or conditional or unconditional) to cause any detriment to the other person because the other person:

                     (a)  makes a disclosure that qualifies for protection under this section; or

                     (b)  may make a disclosure that would qualify for protection under this section.



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