When to ask for a criminal record check
For most jobs, a criminal record check should be requested only from short-listed applicants or from those invited to interview. This minimises:
- unnecessary and time-consuming administration involved with processing many consent to disclosure forms
- the expense, as police services charge for the police checking service
- the risk of confidential information being disclosed when it is not required.
All applicants should be warned that their employment is dependent on an assessment of the results of their criminal record check. This should be stated clearly on the job application form and explained carefully in interview.
Ideally, an employer should not make a final job offer before receiving the results of a police check. If an employee commences employment and training, and a criminal record comes back with a relevant conviction, it can cause undue distress for employees and wasted employer resources.
However, police checks may take a few days, or even weeks, to return to the employer. This is a problem when a position needs to be filled quickly. As a result, in certain cases an employer may need to start the process of obtaining criminal record information earlier in the process. This would only be the case where there was an urgent need to employ someone.
If an employer decides to hire a person prior to the criminal record check, the employer should take steps to clearly inform the new employee that their employment is conditional. This is the case even if the new employee has not disclosed any convictions prior to a police check.
Source: Human Rights Commissioner: http://zurl.co/jzpx
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