From October 2009, all individuals working or volunteering with vulnerable adults or children will be required to register with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA).
This is a new non-departmental public body created to help prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable people and children, and replaces the old POVA (Protection of Vulnerable Adults) list.
Nurses, social workers and teachers, will have to pay £64 to register with the ISA in England and Wales, and £58 in Northern Ireland.
A joint statement from Unison, the RCN, Unite, the National Union of Teachers, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP), GMB and Society of Radiographers (SOR), said: ‘We do however have serious concerns about the current proposals for the Independent Safeguarding Authority.
‘The proposals will mean registering everyone working and volunteering with vulnerable adults and children.
‘There is therefore clear need to ensure that we do not duplicate regulation for indivudals or charge low paid workers with the ISA.’
The unions have drawn a set of principles to improve the development of the system before it goes live.
They call for the registration fee to be paid by employers and the barring process to allow accused individuals the right to defend themselves.