Please note, this handbook is subject to change.
Terms, conditions and handbook – Version 3.1 – Last edit 31st December 2018
hOUR Timebank CLG
Registered Charity Number 2016202
Thank you for your interest in hOur Timebank. We are confident that your active participation as a member will be a fulfilling and beneficial experience.
Our voluntary directors continue to work tirelessly to ensure Timebanking is safe and appropriate for all members and delivery a huge impact on communities throughout Ireland.
This Members Handbook is written to assist members understand how to participate and benefit from participation in the organisation.
hOur Timebank is a group of people who help and support each other by sharing services, skills, talents and knowledge. By both giving and receiving (exchanging), we appreciate the value of every member and also experience the value of our own contributions. Instead of separating our community into those who need and those who provide, we recognise that we all have needs as well as gifts to share.
As a member, you earn a time credit by doing an hour’s service for someone else. The time credit you earn is “stored” in the time bank. You can then exchange each time credit you earn for one hour of service by asking another member to do something for you.
Timebanking is provided to you by the hOur Timebank CLG based in Clonakilty, Co. Cork (the Administrator). To participate in Timebanking, you must become a timebanking member by having a member account.
WHAT IT IS
Timebanking is a network of the residents and organisations who share skills and talents. No money changes hands for services provided. It uses software to connect people in real time to meet real needs.
FIVE CORE VALUES
•Everyone merits respect.
•Everyone is an asset.
•Reciprocity means mutual action.
•All work has value.
•Social capital builds local resilience.
HOW IT WORKS
•You provide a service to earn Time Credits.
•One hour of service equals one Time Credit.
•Each member’s hour is of equal value.
•You pledge to be available for a minimum of three hours per month.
•You spend your Time Credits on services in the network.
•You use the website to keep track of transactions.
WHAT IT IS NOT
Timebanking is not a barter system nor does it deal in commodities or capital.
Timebanking is not a marketing platform for businesses. It is not appropriate to offer services with the intention of reaping paid employment from the interaction.
HOW TO JOIN
•Read the Handbook.
•Fill out an online Application.
•Attend an Orientation.
IMPORTANT: You must be able to respond to email and phone messages promptly to be an hOUR Timebank member.
AT THE ORIENTATION
At your meeting with a Coordinator, we can help explain the service and its benefits, help generate your profile, post your initial “Offers” and “Requests”, and show you how to search the site and record exchanges. Your meeting may be held in person, over the phone, or via Skype.
HOW TO USE THE TIMEBANK
As a member, you’ll be able to contact other members by phone or email. Your neighbourhood (but not street address) will be visible to other members. We ask members to respond to each other within two days.
WHAT TO OFFER
We’re always looking for resourceful folks with practical skills to share. A simple task for you may be another person’s laborious chore. Consider offering services that you enjoy, that come easily to you.
Costs for materials or ingredients are paid by the recipient. You can decide how far you’re willing to travel to offer services and include your round-trip travel time in your total service hours.
WHAT TO REQUEST
Consider requesting services that you need help with, cannot do or want to learn.
Be as specific as possible about what you need. Include the location, the amount of time required, if there is a deadline, whether or not you can help and if you have the materials and tools needed. You provide any materials needed for your Request.
RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Every member has the right to:
•Earn Time Credits for services provided.
•Spend Time Credits on services offered.
•Save Time Credits for future use.
•Donate Time Credits to community bank
•Be valued and treated fairly.
Every member has the responsibility to:
•Keep your profile current.
•Use your legal first and last name.
•Respond to other members promptly.
•Know and honor the Timebank’s policies.
stacking firewood giving craft lessons baking/cooking organising events
dog walking picture framing laying a brick path
teaching a language gardening errands
doing housework sewing/mending singing/playing music graphic design help
handyman services photography teaching music painting
reading to the visually impaired fruit harvesting proof-reading/editing
mowing lawns teaching Tai chi IT & social media help
bicycle repairs working bees marketing advice
car care hair-cutting sports lessons
tutoring school pupils companionship massage delivering flyers
pruning trees assembling flatpacks exercising horses
grocery shopping eco-living mentoring respite care feeding pets
and Many More….
•For the Timebank to work, receiving services is as necessary as giving. Please do both.
•Appreciation for another’s best efforts is also important. There may be situations when the service provided does not meet your expectations. No service is guaranteed. If there is a true problem, please contact the Administrator.
•Enter other’s space with care. Respect other members’ homes, their belief systems and personal boundaries. If you smoke, ask for permission. Refrain from using alcohol or illegal drugs before or while performing a service.
•Represent your abilities accurately. Use the agreed-upon time to provide a service and renegotiate if more time is needed.
•Don’t feel obligated to provide a service. You can say “no” at any time with simple “Sorry, that won’t work out for me.” Please respond to Requests even if you will be declining to offer service.
•hOUR Timebank does not check driving records; therefore, it is the responsibility of each member to screen drivers. Anyone who provides driving services is expected to have a valid driver’s license, carry car insurance, use seat belts, follow driving laws, and maintain his/her car to a standard of safety. Be prepared to show your Driver’s License and proof of insurance when they are requested. If requesting transportation, be sure to ask to see those documents before the Exchange begins.
•You may arrange for reimbursement for fuel costs for services such as trips to the airport. Any such agreements should be agreed in advance to avoid misunderstanding.
- Do not work at heights in excess of 3 metres.
•Time Credits are not redeemable for cash.
•hOUR Timebank can not fully perform background checks on all of its members, nor be responsible for all activities undertaken. It is the responsibility of each member to meet and/or get to know and develop a relationship with fellow members. Members should take personal responsibility for the their own safety and safety of their property.
•The Timebank community must protect the privacy and confidentiality of its members. Time Credits may only be used for members or their dependents. Non-members may not use Timebank services. Do not share any member information outside the Timebank community. Emails or addresses may not be added to any mailing lists without the express permission of the member.
•hOUR Timebank will not be held responsible for any injury to persons or damage to property experienced while involved in service exchanges.
MEMBERSHIP & PARTICIPATION
By participating in Timebanking and becoming a Timebanking member, you agree to these terms and conditions.
These terms and conditions may change from time to time. The modified terms will be available on the website and will apply from the date on the top of this page. If you continue to use the Timebanking website after this date, you accept the modified terms.
Modifications of terms and conditions will be e-mails to members when new versions become live.
It is free to become a Timebanking account holder (Timebanking Member).
To be a Timebanking Member, you must be:
(a) either an individual over the age of 18, an entity (such as an organisation or company); and
(b) located in Ireland.
Unless otherwise permitted by the Administrator, you must not be an individual or an entity that has had any Timebanking account previously cancelled by the Administrator as a result of breaching these terms and conditions.
ACCOUNTS, USERNAMES AND PASSWORDS
(a) To create a member account, follow the instructions on the Timebanking website to set up a Timebanking account.
(b) Unless otherwise authorised by the Administrator, you may only operate one account.
(c) You must set up your Timebanking account by providing:
(i) your legal name; and
(ii) accurate and true information as required by the account registration form.
(iii) names and contact details of 2 character referees from within Ireland
(d) If your account details change, you should update your account details with accurate and true information as soon as practicable.
(e) The Timebanking website allows you to control the account details that will be shared with other Timebanking Members.
(f) By agreeing to become a member you will be providing data consent for this information to be shared among members The data collected in the registration form and shared among members is necessary for safe, efficient and transparent operation of Timebank.
(g) Once a member leaves Timebanking – all personal data will be hidden from follow-members. Details of shares and personal details of former members will be kept secure by the administrator for 7 years after which time it will be deleted.
(h) For certain activities members may be required to undertake additional administrative procedures. For example: – If you wish to engage in working with children or vulnerable adults, you will be required to complete a Garda Check. If you wish to engage in driving, you will be required to submit drivers licence, evidence of car roadworthiness and evidence of insurance. Other activities may require additional approaches. Our administrator will be in contact if you wish to offer these types of services.
RESPONSIBILITY FOR ACCOUNT USE
You must keep your password information secure. You are responsible for all use of your Timebanking account, whether or not you have authorised it.
You may offer and provide a variety of services using the Timebanking website. An offer to provide services is an invitation to treat and does not constitute an offer that is capable of acceptance. You and the Timebanking Member requiring the services must agree for the services to proceed.
NB – You should only provide Timebanking services if you are a fit and proper person to provide the services, and reasonably believe that you have the capability, skills and necessary qualifications to provide those services. For example, if you have an illness or medical condition you should not undertake any activities that would adversely affect your health. You must ensure that you have all required licences and consents, relevant insurances, and comply with the law when you provide any Timebanking services.
You must act ethically in offering and providing Timebanking services, consistent with the norms of Timebanking.
You must only use the Timebanking website to post offers or provide services that are legal. You must not offer or provide services that:
(a) are misleading or deceptive, or make false claims or representations;
(b) promote any illegal activities; or
(c) infringe any third party right, including intellectual property, publicity, privacy or proprietary rights.
If the Administrator considers that you are making any illegal use of the Timebanking website, or providing illegal services, it may commence legal proceedings or report the matter to the relevant law enforcement authorities. This is in addition to any other rights the Administrator has at law and under these terms and conditions.
The Administrator may remove any content posted by a Timebanking Member that the Administrator considers to be harmful, threatening, unlawful, defamatory, abusive, harassing, obscene, pornographic, sexually explicit, fraudulent, hateful, or promoting racism, bigotry, harms any group or individual, or is contrary to the norms of Timebanking. See complaints procedure below.
You must exercise care and caution when interacting with people you do not know. You take full responsibility for participating in Timebanking (including using the Timebanking website, and receiving services from and providing services to other Timebanking Members), and do so at your own risk.
Timebanking is offered in the tradition and spirit of community volunteerism and “meitheal”. It is not intended to duplicate or displace professional services. It would normally be expected that the receiver of supports is present and actively participates in the work and that the activity is undertaken on a co-operative mutually understood basis.
It is up to each Timebank member to agree the nature of the activity. hOur Timebank cannot be responsible for the quality and workmanship of work provided. If your requested activity requires a professional or expert approach, it may be better to seek a commercial service provider where consumer rights can be upheld.
Services provided within a Timebank are not subject to consumer protection.
Generally speaking a consumer is defined in Irish law as a natural person who buys goods or a service for personal use or consumption from someone whose business it is to sell goods or provide services. By law, you are not a consumer if you:
•Receive goods as a gift
•Buy goods from an individual who is not in business.
It is up to all members to exercise judgement and common sense in their decisions to use Timebank services.
MEMBER ENROLLMENT AND REMOVAL POLICY
hOUR Timebank reserves the right to refuse membership to anyone without explanation. Members may be removed from the Timebank at the discretion of the Coordinators. Reasons for dismissal include but are not limited to:
•Not responding to communications. If you do not get a response from another member, contact the Coordinator. After two complaints of non-responsiveness, the Member will be contacted and may be de-activated.
•Theft, fraud, misuse or abuse. These behaviours will not be tolerated and the member will be removed. Posting inappropriate Offers or Requests is a misuse of the Timebank. The coordinators shall deem what is inappropriate.
•Violence, harassment or other disrespectful interactions. We rely on all members to report any inappropriate behaviour, be it directed at you or observed by you. Any infraction may result in de-activation.
•Lack of participation and/or is unreachable by phone or email, the account will be de-activated.
•Phone numbers and email addresses are visible to other members by default upon account activation. If you wish to hide your contact details, please contact us for assistance.
You must not use the Timebanking website to:
(a) upload, post, transmit, share, store or make available by any means any content that is restricted by password or hidden from an accessible webpage;
(b) use or attempt to use another Timebanking Member’s account without the Administrator’s authorisation;
(c) engage in any activities which involve unsolicited advertising or promotional materials, including junk mail, spam, chain letters, pyramid schemes, surveys, contests, sweepstakes, barter, and mass mailing;
(d) collect usernames, email addresses or other contact information of other users by using automated scripts or other means for the purpose of sending unsolicited emails, or unauthorised linking or framing of the website; or
(e) do anything that could damage, disable, overburden, impair or interfere with the proper operation of the Timebanking website.
One hour spent providing Timebanking services to another Timebanking Member is equivalent to one hour of time credit that can be used to receive Timebanking services from another Timebanking Member. The time credit accrued for services is rounded to the nearest half hour. The time credit received for Timebanking services is not dependent on the market value or retail cost of those services. All time is equal.
Time credits earned via Timebanking may only be used in accordance with these terms and conditions. There are limits on the time credits that can be accrued and used (see section 9 below). Time credits are not transferable (other than donations to the Timebanking Community Chest), cannot be used for other community based exchange systems (unless provided for in these terms and conditions), and cannot be converted to cash.
Only hours spent providing Timebanking services to other Timebanking Members can be banked and recognised as time credit. The time credit accrued for services is rounded to the nearest half hour.
You are able to access a record of the time credits accrued by logging into the Timebanking website. You will not be able to access the details of the past services provided to other Timebanking Members.
If you have provided services to another Timebanking Member, you should record it on the Timebanking website as soon as possible. You must record the duration of your services fairly and accurately. The Timebanking website contains instructions on how to record the time accrued providing Timebanking services.
An email confirmation of the Timebanking services provided, and the time claimed, will then be sent to the Timebanking Member which has received your services.
The Administrator may request Timebanking Members for further information about any of the Timebanking services provided amongst Timebanking Members, e.g. to determine whether time credits have been validly earned and banked. You must promptly provide assistance and comply with any request for further information that is reasonably requested by the Administrator.
DONATION OF TIME CREDITS TO THE TIMEBANKING COMMUNITY CHEST
You may donate any or all time credits that you have earned to the Timebanking Community Chest. Instructions for donating to the Timebanking Community Chest are set out on the Timebanking website.
If you agree to donate time credits to the Timebanking Community Chest, you acknowledge and agree that:
(a) time credits donated to the Timebanking Community Chest cannot be retracted or withdrawn once they have been donated;
(b) you cannot donate more time credits than you have banked; and
(c) time credits donated to the Timebanking Community Chest may be used as the Administrator sees fit (including, re-allocating them to other Timebanking Members or Organisations). You cannot direct how time credits that are donated will be dealt with by the Administrator.
More information about the community chest can be found on our website.
TIME CREDIT LIMITS
The initial balance for all Timebanking Members is 0 hours of time credit. You may receive services using the Timebanking website without any time credits up to a limit of 8 hours (if you are an individual), or 20 hours (if you are an entity). The Timebanking Member that provides the Timebanking services to you will still accrue time credits for the services provided to you.
If you accrue 60 hours or more in time credits, you must reduce your time credits to under 60 hours by:
(a) using the time credits to receive services advertised by other Timebanking Members; or
(b) donating the time credits to the Timebanking Community Chest.
The Administrator may by notice to you take steps to enforce the limits set out in this section 8, including by cancelling your Timebanking account, or donating or cancelling time credits above 60 hours that you have accrued.
If there has been no activity in relation to your Timebanking account for a period of 12 months or more, the account will be considered by the Administrator to be inactive. The Administrator may, by email notice to you, cancel your Timebanking account. Any time credits you have will be forfeited.
If you still wish to participate in Timebanking, you will need to set up a new Timebanking account. You will not be able to recover time credits from your previous Timebanking account as they have been forfeited.
You may request cancellation of your Timebanking account by contacting the Administrator by email. The Administrator will cancel your Timebanking account as soon as practicable. Any time credits you have are forfeited. You will no longer be able to log into your Timebanking account.
The Administrator may, without limiting its rights, suspend or cancel your Timebanking account:
(a) for any reason by sending you an email notifying you of the cancellation; or
(b) without notice, if you commit a serious breach of any of these terms and conditions; or
(c) on at least 14 days’ notice by email, if you commit breach (other than a serious breach) of any of these terms and conditions.
10.3. If your Timebanking account is cancelled for any reason, you will not be able to access your account details and you will forfeit all time credits.
GENERAL ADMINISTRATOR RIGHTS
In addition to the Administrator’s other rights under these terms and conditions, the Administrator may at any time for any reason:
(a) suspend your use of the Timebanking website;
(b) cancel any or all the services and functionality offered on the Timebanking website;
(c) make modifications to your Timebanking account and time credits balance;
(d) remove or modify any content, including advertisements, that you post on the Timebanking website; or
(e) block access to all or any part of the Timebanking website.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS AND CONSENTS
You acknowledge and consent to the Administrator collecting and storing information about you in connection with Timebanking, and using that information to operate the Timebanking website, improve and further Timebanking in the community, and to keep proper records during and after your participation in Timebanking.
The information you provide also may be provided to 3rd party researchers who are undertaking research on the Administrator’s behalf in relation to Timebanking. Any personal information provided to those researchers will be unidentifiable.
You acknowledge that the Administrator may, but is under no obligation whatsoever, to monitor the Timebanking website (including any content and any advertisements posted by Timebanking Members). The Administrator makes no promises or representations in relation to the type, skill, qualifications, expertise or availability of persons that become Timebanking Members, nor the services or offers provided by them, including its legality, truth, accuracy, or suitability.
The Administrator or hOur Timebank Ireland is not responsible or liable in any manner for:
(a) the accuracy, truth, appropriateness, completeness of any content posted by Timebanking Members on the Timebanking website, including content in breach of section 3, that you may be exposed to while using the Timebanking website;
(b) any Timebanking Member’s online or offline conduct.
(c) the deletion and removal of your content (including offers);
(d) any errors that may be in the Timebanking website content or the accrual or use of time credits;
(e) any delay, suspension or cancellation of the Timebanking website to you (including your Timebanking Member account);
(f) your content, the Timebanking website being error-free, defect-free or free from interruption, external intruders (hackers), virus or worm attacks, denial of service attacks, and persons having unauthorised access to the Timebanking website or systems; or
(g) the services advertised by Timebanking Members, including the nature, quality or suitability of the services advertised.
Any information provided on the Timebanking website (including any content and any offers posted by Timebanking Members) is for information only and is not intended, and should not be taken or relied on, as advice. Unless expressly stated by the Administrator, the Administrator does not recommend or endorse any views, opinions, advice, recommendations (including any content and any advertisements posted by Timebanking Members) on the Timebanking website.
The Administrator or hOur Timebank LCG accepts no liability for any loss, liability, damages, expenses, costs or charges of any kind whether arising in tort (including negligence), equity or otherwise which you suffer or incur arising from or in connection with your participation in Timebanking (including your use of the Timebanking website, and the services you receive from and provide to other Timebanking Members).
Any representation, warranty, condition or undertaking that would be imposed by legislation, common law, equity, trade, custom or usage is excluded to the maximum extent allowed by law.
You indemnify the hour Timebank CLG, the Administrator (including its personnel) from any loss, liability, damages, expenses, costs or charges of any kind which the Administrator (including its personnel) suffers or incurs arising from or in connection with your participation in Timebanking (including your use of the Timebanking website, and the services you receive from and provide to other Timebanking Members).
You are responsible and liable for any tax or other liabilities incurred in relation to Timebanking services you provide to or receive from other Timebanking Members. Timebanking does not warrant or represent that it has examined the tax implications of any transaction that a Timebanking Member may enter into. If you are unsure about the tax or other liabilities that may arise in relation to the Timebanking services you provide or receive, you should obtain accounting and financial advice on this issue.
17.1. If any dispute arises between Timebanking Members, the Timebanking Members that are in dispute should attempt to resolve the dispute. If the dispute is not resolved between the Timebanking Members that are in dispute, the dispute may be referred to the Administrator for mediation.
Step 1 – both parties will be spoken to and the issue clarified.
Step 2 – further investigation and inspection will be undertaken if necessary.
Step 3 – a decision will be communicated to both parties within 1 month. If a delay is necessary or anticipated the reason for the delay will be communicated.
A complaint may be made in writing to the administration at the e-mail address.
The complaint will be investigated.
The administrator will communicate a decision to the parties or party concerned within 1 month. If a delay is necessary or anticipated, the reason for the delay will be communicated to the complainant.
An appeal following a Dispute or a complaint can be made to the chairperson of hOur Timebank CLG. The chairperson will examine the issue and communicate a decision to the appellant within 3 months.
The decision of the chairperson is final.
Your agreement to these terms and conditions does not create a relationship of partnership, employment, principal and agent, or of trustee and beneficiary.
terms and conditions are governed by the laws of Republic of Ireland. Timebanking Members agree to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of Ireland and EU.
Timebank will report to An Garda Siochana any activity it views as potentially illegal and does not take responbility for adverse consequences as a result of this reporting.
•I understand that the hOUR Timebank shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to loss, damage, or injury caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by information contained on this website or any other Timebank resources.
•I understand that my email address and/or phone number will be shared with other members of hOUR Timebank. I also understand that I will receive newsletters and other communications for hOUR Timebank from the Coordinators.
•Since any agreements shall be made by and between parties involved in Timebank exchanges, hOUR Timebank will not be held responsible and will not assume any liability for claims, damages, or any other consequences which may arise from this arrangement.
•I hereby agree the duty, responsibility, and liability that is inherent with hOUR Timebank exchanges shall remain as it would be if the parties were not part of any Timebank. I agree to leave intact the normal remedies and cause-of-action available to these parties in the event of any unforeseen circumstance. I agree to indemnify and hold harmless all parties who facilitate or participate in Timebank exchanges.
•Any members who are given admin access to the members area of the website, have to agree to keep other members private information strictly confidential.
•Members agree to adhere to the Terms & Use published on our website:
Appendix 1 – hOur Timebank Garda Vetting Policy
hOUR Timebank CLG is committed to the protection and welfare of OUR MEMBERS. As part of this commitment hOUR Timebank CLG will comply with relevant legislation and recommended best practice in recruitment and selection procedures for both employees and volunteers, and will conduct Garda Vetting, where appropriate, as part of this process.
The purpose of this document is to provide information and guidance on Garda Vetting procedures within hOUR Timebank CLG.
This policy applies to hOUR Timebank CLG employees and volunteers who will carry out “relevant work” with children and/or vulnerable adults as defined in the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Bill 2012. (See Appendix) Responsibility for ensuring this policy is effectively implemented rests with our Garda Vetting Officer. All other staff members and volunteers in hOUR Timebank CLG are expected to facilitate and support the implementation of this policy.
Glossary of Terms and Definitions
Garda Central Vetting Unit (GCVU) / National Vetting Bureau – is the national unit of the Garda Síochána which conducts vetting of applicants to ascertain whether applicants have prior convictions and / or prosecutions. The GCVU will be known as the “National Vetting Bureau” following the commencement of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Bill 2012 to 2016.
Garda Vetting: This is the process by which the GCVU discloses details regarding “all prosecutions, successful or not, pending or completed, and/or convictions” in respect of an individual and with that individual’s consent to their prospective employer and/or the organisations with which they wish to volunteer. (Please note, when the National Vetting Bureau Bill is commenced unsuccessful convictions may not be disclosed.)
Authorised Signatory/Liaison Person – is the person who is nominated to apply for and receive vetting disclosures on behalf of applicant organisations. The Authorised Signatory/Liaison Person may be nominated to act for a consortium of organisations (e.g. Volunteer Centre A.S.) or from a representative body for a group of organisations (e.g. NYCI). The Authorised Signatory will be known as the “Liaison Person” following the commencement of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Bill 2012 to 2016.
Natural Justice – There are essentially two sections to the Rules of Natural Justice, the first being derived from the Latin maximum “audi alteram partem” (let the other side be heard). This is the duty to allow persons affected by a decision to have a reasonable opportunity of presenting their case. The second part of the Rules of Natural Justice is derived from the Latin maxim “nema judex in causa sua” (no one can be the judge in his own cause). This gives rise to a duty to act fairly, to listen to arguments, and to reach a decision in a manner that is untainted by bias. (NUI, Galway)
Child – a person under the age of 18 years.
Vulnerable Adult – a person, other than a child who – Is suffering from a disorder of the mind, whether as a result of mental illness or dementia, Has an intellectual disability Is suffering from a physical impairment, whether as a result of injury, illness or age, or Has a physical disability, which is of such a nature or degree as to restrict the capacity of the person to guard himself or herself against harm by another person, or, that results in the person requiring assistance with the activities of daily living including dressing, eating, walking, washing and bathing.
Garda Vetting is just one of a number of elements that hOUR Timebank CLG implements to ensure the protection and safety of the children and/or vulnerable adults in hOUR Timebank CLG care. Appropriate recruitment screening (including interviews, reference checking), child protection and health and safety procedures, etc. will be implemented along with Garda Vetting.
An individual will not work / volunteer with children or vulnerable adults in hOUR Timebank CLG until their Garda vetting has been completed and the results conveyed to the organisations Garda Vetting Officer by the Authorised Signatory / Liaison Person.
Having a criminal record will not automatically exclude an individual from employment/volunteering unless they relate to the offences outline in Section 10. Decisions on whether to involve an individual with prior criminal convictions will take into account:
● the individuals abilities, skills , experiences and qualifications;
● the nature of the conviction and its relevance to the job;
● the length of time since the offence took place;
● the risk to the service users, employees and organisation;
● training which may have occurred since the time individual’s offence
hOUR Timebank CLG will employ a Natural Justice framework in dealing with any disclosures of convictions.
Vetting Applications Process
All vetting applications for employment/volunteer roles with hOUR Timebank CLG shall be processed by an Authorised Signatory/Liaison Person who is trained by the Garda Vetting Unit in the management of Vetting applications and disclosures. hOUR Timebank CLG has appointed Cork Volunteer Centre to act as Authorised Signatory / Liaison Person on its behalf.
hOUR Timebank CLG will nominate one staff member / Board Member / Steering Committee member to act as the ‘Garda Vetting Officer’ (GVO). The responsibilities of the GVO include:
● Assessing when Garda vetting is necessary for each employment position/volunteer role i.e. the role involves “relevant work” with children or vulnerable adults as specified in the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons Bill) 2012 to 2016.
● Ensuring that candidates for employment positions/volunteer roles are provided with the correct Garda vetting forms and that the forms are completed accurately and in full, prior to submitting them to the Authorised Signatory.
● Verifying the identity of the person submitting the vetting application by checking relevant ID (e.g. passport, driving licence)
● Ensuring all personal information in relation to vetting is kept confidentially and in compliance with Data Protection legislation and best practice
● That hOUR Timebank CLG staff / volunteers are aware of the organisations Garda Vetting Policy. hOUR Timebank CLG will nominate 3 representatives from the staff / Board / Steering Committee to make up the “Garda Vetting Committee”. The responsibilities of the Committee includes:
Ensuring organisational compliance with the Garda Vetting policy
Assisting the Garda Vetting Officer to make decisions on the suitability of candidates following the disclosure of convictions via the Garda vetting process.
If the individual being vetted is over the age of 16 and under the age of 18, they are required to have a completed parent / guardian consent form which must be submitted along with their vetting application form.
hOUR Timebank CLG will not accept historical vetting information from employment / volunteer candidates or from their previous employers / volunteer managers. Each new employer / volunteer must be vetted via the hOUR Timebank CLG vetting process, even if engaging an individual already vetted elsewhere. hOUR Timebank CLG will require all of its existing staff/volunteers to be re-vetted at regular intervals of (e.g. three) years
Vetting Disclosures Process
On return from the GCVU / National Vetting Bureau the forms will be processed by the nominated AS / Liaison Person who will inform hOUR Timebank CLG Garda Vetting Officer by letter / email of the results. The Authorised Signatory / Liaison Person will pass on a copy of any possible or probable convictions to the Garda Vetting Officer for their consideration, and this document will be held confidentially.
Where there are no convictions, an offer of a position of employment/voluntary role will be issued to the candidate in line with hOUR Timebank CLG other screening/recruitment procedures.
Where serious convictions are disclosed, (for e.g. those itemised in 10.1 and 10.2) a letter will be sent to the person asking them to attend a meeting with the Vetting Officer/Committee <fill in as appropriate>. This letter must not disclose the information on the returned Garda Vetting form. The purpose of this meeting is to allow the applicant (employee / volunteer) access to the information returned by the GCVU / Vetting Bureau and to give them an opportunity to explain the circumstances surrounding the conviction.
A written record of this meeting will be kept and the time, date and duration of the meeting recorded. At this meeting, hOUR Timebank CLG will ensure that: Everyone, no matter what their history, is given fair and equal treatment and the right to state their case. Cognisance is of Repeat Offending, Restorative Justice and Rehabilitation of Offenders. A disclosure of conviction will not automatically preclude the applicant from obtaining the position in question. Cognisance is taken of the applicant’s self-disclosure or non-disclosure of a conviction at the time of the application and of their experience (work record etc.) and rehabilitation subsequent to any conviction disclosed.
Where multiple convictions are evident but may be as the result of a particular lifestyle, e.g., drug addiction, then the change in lifestyle must be taken into consideration.
Applicants who deny any convictions returned by the GCVU / Vetting Bureau will be provided with details on how to write a letter of appeal to amend their records at the GCVU / Vetting Bureau.
Applicants are informed that in the case of uncertainties their form will be returned to the GCVU / Vetting Bureau seeking clarification.
The applicant’s name and date of birth are clarified at the start of the meeting as mistakes may be made by the GCVU / Vetting Bureau where names and addresses are similar.
hOUR Timebank CLG will consider each Garda Vetting form returned with convictions individually and the hOUR Timebank CLG will always treat the applicant with respect, dignity and complete confidentially. hOUR Timebank CLG recognises that there are three potential outcomes of the review meeting:
In line with this policy and taking all things into consideration including interview, current history and references, the applicant may be offered the position.
The applicants Garda Vetting form is returned to the GCVU for further clarification. In which case a second review meeting may be held.
The applicant is deemed unsuitable for the position on offer by nature of their history of offences.
In each case a written explanation of the outcome will be sent to the applicant by letter. A record of this letter, including date sent must be kept. A record of any replies received and any follow-up must also be kept.
Confidentiality and Data Protection
All information in the vetting process will be held in a manner consistent with the hOUR Timebank CLG confidentiality policy. hOUR Timebank CLG also complies fully with good practice regarding the secure storage, handling and use of the GCVU / Vetting Bureau disclosures and personal vetting information as per our Data Protection Policy and our legal obligations under Data Protection Legislation
Circumstances for the Withdrawal of the offer to Work / Volunteer.
hOUR Timebank CLG considers the following as reasonable grounds to withdraw an offer or opportunity of employment / volunteer role to an individual:
● The individual has been charged with, or convicted of a sexual offence;
● The individual has been charged with, or has a conviction for, an offence that relates to the ill treatment of a child, or a vulnerable adult;
● The individual has been charged with, or has a conviction for, the ownership, production or distribution of child pornography.
hOUR Timebank CLG considers the following list of offences to be relevant, and each case will be considered in a case-by-case basis:
● Offences against the person, e.g. assault, harassment, coercion;
● Breaches in trust, e.g. fraud, theft, larceny;
● Offences against property e.g. arson, armed robbery;
● Domestic Violence;
● Offences against the state.
hOUR Timebank CLG is conscious of not initiating policies that prohibit needlessly against rehabilitated individuals. Such cases will be objectively determined on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the criteria outlines in 5.3.
While the focus is on protecting children and vulnerable adults, there are also safeguards and due processes for those being vetted, including the right to appeal. Appeals should be made in writing to the authorised signatory within 14 days of issue of the decision.
Appendix to Garda Vetting Policy
Excerpt from Schedule 1, Part 1 and Part 2 from the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Bill 2012.
Relevant work or activities relating to children
1. Any work or activity which is carried out by a person, a necessary and regular part of which consists mainly of the person having access to, or contact with, children in –
(a) an establishment which provides pre-school services within the meaning of Part VII of the Child Care Act 1991,
(b) a school or centre of education, both within the meaning of the Education Act 1998,
(c) any hospital or health care centre which receives, treats or otherwise provides services to children,
(d) a designated centre within the meaning of section 2 of the Health Act 2007, in so far as it relates to an institution at which residential services are provided in accordance with the Child Care Act 1991,
(e) a special care unit provided and maintained in accordance with section 23K of the Child Care Act 1991,
(f) a children detention school within the meaning of section 3 of the Children Act 2001.
2. Any work or activity which consists of the provision of home tuition by a person pursuant to the Scheme administered and funded by the Department of Education and known as the Home Tuition Scheme.
3. Any work or activity which consists of treatment, therapy or counselling provided to a child by a person in the course of that work or activity.
4. Any work or activity which consists of care or supervision of children unless the care or supervision is merely incidental to the care or supervision of persons who are not children.
5. Any work or activity which consists of the provision of educational, training, cultural, recreational, leisure, social or physical activities (whether or not for commercial or any other consideration) to children unless the provision of educational, training, cultural, recreational, leisure, social or physical activities is merely incidental to the provision of educational, training, cultural, recreational, leisure, social or physical activities to persons who are not children.
6. Any work or activity which consists of the provision of advice, guidance, developmental, or counselling services, (including by means of electronic interactive communications) to children unless the provision of the advice, guidance, developmental or counselling service is merely incidental to the provision of those services to persons who are not children.
7. Any work or activity as a minister or priest or any other person engaged in the advancement of any religious beliefs.
8. Work as a driver of a public service vehicle which is being used only for the purpose of conveying children.
9. The provision by a person, whether or not for commercial or other consideration, of accommodation for a child in his or her own home.
10. Any research work or activities (howsoever described) carried out in a university, institute of technology or other establishment at which third level education is provided where a necessary and regular part of the research work or activity involves contact with or access to children.
11. Any application by a person to carry on or manage a designated centre within the meaning of section 2 of the Health Act 2007.
12. Any application by a person for a declaration of eligibility and suitability within the meaning of section 3 of the Adoption Act 2010.
13. Any assessment of a person’s suitability to act as a foster carer by or under section 39 of the Child Care Act 1991.
14. Any assessment by or under section 41 of the Child Care Act 1991 of a person’s suitability to act as a carer of a child in respect of whom he or she is a relative.
15. Any work or activity which is carried on by a person, a necessary and regular part of which requires the person to have access to, or contact with, children pursuant to the following enactments:
(a) Medical Practitioners Act 2007;
(b) Nurses Act 1985;
(c) Nurses and Midwives Act 2011;
(d) Dentists Act 1985;
(e) Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005;
(f) Pharmacy Act 2007;
(g) Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council Order 2000 (S.I.No. 109 of 2000);
(h) Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council (Establishment) Order 2000 (Amendment) Order 2004 (S.I. No. 575 of 2004). PART 2
Relevant work or activities relating to vulnerable persons
1. Any work or activity which is carried out by a person, a necessary and regular part of which consists mainly of the person having access to, or contact with, vulnerable persons in:
(a) a school or centre of education, both within the meaning of the Education Act 1998, unless, in the case of a centre of education, the work or activity is merely incidental to work or activities undertaken in relation to persons who are not vulnerable persons,
(b) any hospital or care centre which receives, treats or otherwise which provides services to vulnerable persons,
(c) a designated centre within the meaning of section 2 of the Health Act 2007, in so far as it relates to an institution at which residential services are provided to vulnerable persons,
(d) an approved centre within the meaning of Part 5 of the Mental Health Act 2001,
(e) any organisation or facility which provides educational, training, cultural, recreational, leisure, social or physical activities (whether or not for commercial or any other consideration) for vulnerable persons,
(f) in any organisation or facility which provides welfare, advice, guidance, developmental, or counselling services for vulnerable persons.
2. Any work or activity which consists of treatment, therapy or counselling provided to a vulnerable person by a person in the course of that work or activity.
3. Any work or activity which consists of the care (including the provision of health and personal social services and essential domestic services) of vulnerable persons unless the care is merely incidental to the care of persons who are not vulnerable persons.
4. Any work or activity which consists of the provision of educational, training, cultural, recreational, leisure, social or physical activities (whether or not for commercial or any other consideration) to vulnerable persons unless the provision of educational, training, cultural, recreational, leisure, social or physical activities is merely incidental to the provision of educational, training, cultural, recreational, leisure, social or physical activities to persons who are not vulnerable persons.
5. Any work or activity which consists of the provision of advice, guidance, developmental, or counselling services, (including by means of electronic interactive communications) to vulnerable persons unless the provision of the advice, guidance, develop mental or counselling service is merely incidental to the provision of those services to persons who are not vulnerable persons.
6. Work as a driver of a public service vehicle which is being used only for the purpose of conveying vulnerable persons.
7. Any work or activity as a minister or priest or any other person engaged in the advancement of any religious beliefs.
8. The provision by a person, whether or not for commercial or other consideration, of accommodation for a vulnerable person in his or her own home.
9. Any research work or activities (howsoever described) carried out in a university, institute of technology or other establishment at which third level education is provided where a necessary and regular part of the research work or activity involves contact with or access to vulnerable persons.
10. Any assessment of a person’s suitability to act as a care representative under section 21 of the Nursing Homes Support Scheme Act 2009.
11. Any application by a person to carry on or manage a designated 10 centre both within the meaning of section 2 of the Health Act 2007.
12. Any work or activity which is carried on by a person, a necessary and regular part of which requires the person to have access to, or contact with, vulnerable persons pursuant to the following enactments:
(a) Medical Practitioners Act 2007;
(b) Nurses Act 1985;
(c) Nurses and Midwives Act 2011;
(d) Dentists Act 1985;
(e) Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005;
(f) Pharmacy Act 2007;
(g) Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council (Establishment) Order 2000 (S.I. No. 109 of 2000);
(h) Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council (Establishment) Order 2000 (Amendment) Order 2004 (S.I. No. 575 of 2004).