INTRODUCTION AND PURPOSE
From time to time Aqua Commercial Cleaning Services works with clients who operate within a setting that brings our employees into contact with children, young people or vulnerable adults. These include schools, colleges, universities, and attractions.
The Company is committed to working with these clients to ensure our employees safeguard and promote the welfare of children or young and vulnerable adults in the workplace.
Everyone working within these settings has a responsibility for safeguarding children and young or vulnerable adults. Our staff members will be made aware that it is important to maintain an attitude of ‘It could happen here’ where safeguarding is concerned. When concerned about the welfare of a child, staffmembers should always act in the interests of the child.
The purpose of this policy is to make sure that the actions of any adult in our employ, whilst performing the works for which they are employed by us, are transparent and safeguard the children, young people, and vulnerable adults that they may come into contact with.
We will be guided by the client and in particular the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) within the client’s workplace.
GOOD PRACTICE GUIDELINES AND STAFF CODE OF CONDUCT
- To meet and maintain our responsibilities towards safeguarding we expect our employees to:
- Treat everyone with respect;
- Set a good example by conducting themselves appropriately;
- Ensure that, whenever possible, there is more than one adult present where they are working in the vicinity of vulnerable adults or children;
- Be aware that any physical contact with vulnerable adults or children may be misinterpreted, no matter how well intentioned;
- Operate within Aqua Commercial Cleaning principles and guidance and any other specific procedures;
- Challenge unacceptable behaviour and report all allegations or suspicions of abuse to the appropriate person at the client premises;
- Share any concerns with your supervisor/area manager and/or the DSL at the client premises without delay.
EMPLOYEES MUST NOT:
- have inappropriate physical or verbal contact with children, young people or vulnerable adults;
- allow yourself to be drawn into inappropriate attention seeking behaviour or make suggestive or derogatory remarks or gestures in front of vulnerable adults, children or young people;
- jump to conclusions about others without checking facts by discussing concerns with your immediate line manager;
- either exaggerate or trivialise vulnerable adults or child or young people abuse issues;
- show favouritism to any individual;
WHAT IS ABUSE?
It is generally accepted that there are four main forms of abuse. The following definitions are taken from “Working Together to Safeguard Children” a Department for Education publication.
This includes anything from a hand slap to death by suffocation. Injuries may be caused by blows, punches, kicks, shakes, bites, belts, scalds, burns, suffocation, drowning or poisoning. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer feigns the symptoms or deliberately causes ill health to a vulnerable adult or child they are looking after, Physical abuse, as well as being the result of a deliberate act, can also be caused through the omission or the failure to act and protect.
Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, which is likely to result in serious impairment to their health or development.
It may involve a carer failing to protect a child from exposure to any kind of danger, including cold or starvation, or extreme failure to carry out important aspects of care, resulting in significant impairment of the child’s health or development.
Forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not they are aware of what’s happening. This includes rape, incest and all forms of sexual activity involving children, including encouraging children to look at, or to be involved in the production of pornography material, prostitution or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
This is persistent emotional ill treatment which is likely to cause serious harm to the child’s emotional development. This may involve conveying to children that they are worthless, unloved, inadequate and cause children to feel frightened, in danger, be exploited or corrupted.
WHAT TO DO IF SOMEONE DISCLOSES AN ABUSIVE ACT OR EXPERIENCE TO AN AQUA COMMERCIAL CLEANING EMPLOYEE
- If a vulnerable adult, child or young person confides to a Aqua Commercial employee that they are being or have been abused then they have placed that person in a position of trust. The employee concerned must:
- be clear that they cannot keep secrets or promise confidentiality and that they must pass on information if they think a child or young person has been or is being harmed, or is at risk of being harmed, in some way;
- react calmly. Do not panic as this may frighten or silence the person;
- make a full record of what is being said, heard or seen as soon as possible and report it to the Clients DSL and their respective supervisor/area manager
- DO NOT DELAY IN PASSING INFORMATION ON.
It is not the sole responsibility of Aqua Commercial Cleaning to decide whether or not abuse has taken place. This will be decided after a full investigation and the relevant Clients’ DSL has been informed. It is the responsibility of our employees to act if there is cause for concern, in order that the client and appropriate agencies can investigate and take the necessary action to protect a vulnerable adult or child. All concerns should be reported the same working day.
RESPONDING TO ALLEGATIONS OF ABUSE OR INAPPROPRIATE OR DANGEROUS BEHAVIOUR AGAINST A MEMBER OF CLEANKING STAFF
Regardless of the age of the individual person, if an allegation of abuse or inappropriate conduct is made against a Aqua Commercial Cleaning employee then it must be reported immediately to the client’s DSL and their respective supervisor/area manager.
Concerns about employees must be treated with the same rigour as other concerns.
If there are concerns that child abuse has taken place then this information will be passed to social services and/or the police for a full investigation by the client, supported by the relevant Aqua Commercial Cleaning Area Manager.
The welfare of the child, young person or vulnerable adult is paramount. Even when the presenting circumstances appear not very serious, they must be followed up, and they are examined objectively by someone independent of Aqua Commercial Cleaning.
Aqua Commercial Cleaning Area Manager will also need to refer to any disciplinary policy and procedure and decide whether the member of staff should be suspended pending a full investigation.
AFTER AN ALLEGATION
After an allegation or suspicion or concern has been investigated, there are likely to be strong feelings among the staff, service users, parents and maybe the wider community, which will need to be addressed. There are likely to be issues of rumour or fact, guilt and blame – if suspicions have been around for some time, impact on individuals, of the nature of what occurred and to whom. Aqua Commercial Cleaning Senior Management team will support the client and employee in considering the best way of managing this.
Our employees will undertake basic safeguarding training as required by our client organisation.
Enhanced checks with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) will be conducted on Aqua Commercial Cleaning staff on appointment, when they work within client settings that operate with children, young people, and vulnerable adults.
We will be guided by our client requirements with regards to the frequency of DBS checks.
This policy will be reviewed regularly and in line with our client’s requirements.
CONTACT DETAILS OF DESIGNATED OFFICER:
Managing Director Aqua Commercial Cleaning
Westmead House, Ground Floor Suit, Farnborough, Hampshire, GU14 6LP.
Tel: 01252 364418
The authority for this policy is vested in the Managing Director.