Why should you consider joining through ACS Mutual?
Following are responses to several frequently asked questions, however we urge you to engage with us should you have any concerns or require clarification on any matters related to the Scheme and the ACS Mutual response.
The National Redress Scheme provides acknowledgement and support to people who experienced institutional
child sexual abuse.
It was created in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and provides people who have experienced child sexual abuse in an institution an alternative to seeking compensation through the courts.
The National Redress Scheme can provide three things:
- access to couselling;
- a payment; and
- a direct personal response from the institution for people who want it.
Do I need to be an ACS Mutual member in order to join the Scheme via the ACS Mutual participating group?
Put simply, Yes. The Mutual members have created, through their participation, the collective buying power to enable ACS Mutual to provide the protection for this risk.
What does "being an ACS Mutual member" mean?
Being an ACS Mutual member means having your insurance and protection program via ACS Financial and ACS Mutual.
How will the ACS Mutual Participating Group protect our organisation?
The Participating Group will cover any costs incurred by your organisation as a result of a matter being dealt with through the Redress System.
This cover will continue for each year that a Member belongs to the ACS Mutual Scheme.
It is important to note that the Redress Scheme only relates to historical child abuse that occurred prior to 1st of July 2018.
Any matter that occurs after this date and any matter that results in the claimant seeking a Civil recourse via our Court system will be dealt with in the normal manner by your ACS Mutual General Public Liability Protection.
What will opting in to the Scheme cost us?
The cost to an individual church will vary based on historical experience, organisational size and activities and any known circumstances that may lead to a future claim.
You can find your levy amount once you click on the link to the information portal below.
Each year the scheme levy rates will be reviewed, and each year, Members have the right to continue in the Redress Scheme or Opt-out.
The Scheme is intended to run for 10 years from the 1st of July 2018.
ACSM, on behalf of a participating institution will be responsible for providing redress payments for abuse of a person if the abuse occurred in circumstances where the participating institution is primarily or equally responsible for the abuse as outlined in the Scheme legislation.
This payment would be subject to a member retention payment. (Please see the Disclosure statement for more detailed information regarding the retention payments).
Should the institution require financial assistance to meet the excess costs ACS Mutual will consider payment terms over 10 monthly instalments (nominal funding charges may apply).
What is a retention amount?
A retention amount is similar to what's usually known as an 'excess' or how much you contribute to each claim. The reason it's called a 'retention amount' in this case is due to the fact that it's running through a Mutual and the legal terms for describing an 'excess' through a Mutual is known as a 'retention amount'.
Release from Civil Liability
Survivors receiving redress under the Scheme will be required to release the responsible institution, their associates and the officials of these institutions (other than the abuser) from all civil liability in relation to all instances of child sexual abuse, and related non-sexual abuse, of the survivor that is within the scope of the Scheme.
This will be a condition of accepting any components of redress under the Scheme.
Direct Personal Response?
Parties agree that survivors found eligible under the Scheme, and who have accepted an offer of redress (and thereby released relevant institutions from civil liability), should have the opportunity to receive a direct personal response from the participating institution if they choose it.
ACSM will work with you to adhere to the Direct Personal Response Framework.
ACSM will cover any costs associated with a Direct Personal Response such as obtaining a trained facilitator to mediate the process.
Institutions agree to keep all information requested and provided to the Scheme in relation to a claim private and confidential and that this information will be stored appropriately.
How long does the Scheme operate for?
The Scheme commenced on the 1st of July 2018 and will run for 10 years. The Scheme will only respond to matters that occurred prior to the 1st of July 2018.
Every customer of ACSM has the commercial right to withdraw their membership and purchase protection elsewhere. If this occurs ACSM would need to inform the Redress Scheme of this entity’s withdrawal from the Scheme and therefore exercising its right to Opt-out of the Redress Scheme, at a given date.
If a customer refuses to pay for the redress protection, then ACSM will notify the Redress Scheme to have this entity removed from redress protection. I.e. protection is predicated on payment of a levy.
How do we sign up?
The ACS Mutual Participating Group “Onboarding” process will be as prescribed by the rules of the Redress Scheme. In practice this is a process that involves a formal acknowledgement of your Church agreeing to be part of the Redress Scheme as an Associate of the ACS Mutual Participating Group. Further, it will require the identification of each entity in both its informal and legal name. For example, a church may be known as “The ABC Church of North Sydney” but its legal name could be “ABC Church Limited.”
This information is required to ensure three key things:
A potential Claimant can identify the alleged institution as a participant in the Redress Scheme;
Should the matter be proven to the satisfaction of the prescribed Redress process, then the legal release that is required, is executed in an enforceable manner to protect you, the institution, from any further liability in the matter.
Should an apology be required the correct entity issues the apology. (Please note, ACS Mutual will guide you through the apology process should that be required by the Claimant).
As soon as we have a suitable number of ACS Mutual Members ready to opt-in, we will be submitting the details to The Redress Manager at DSS who will prepare a Ministerial proclamation, after which, your Institution’s name will be listed on the Redress website confirming your Institution is part of the National Redress Scheme.
This will continue on a monthly basis until all those who have chosen to opt-in are proclaimed under the Act. We will also be adding any new members through the same Onboarding process.