PRUDENT EMPLOYERS conduct background checks, are yours legally compliant?

PRUDENT EMPLOYERS can conduct checks of a candidate’s police/criminal background, drug use, alcohol habits, mental health, litigious conduct (eg. against employers), credit history and other checks and tests prior to making a job offer. However, it is important to ensure that the screening company and their processes comply with the Australian Privacy Principles, anti-discrimination legislation and state laws.

Preemployment screening is a due diligence exercise conducted by vigilant employers prior to making a job offer to a potential candidate. The process is essentially an investigation and employs a multidimensional employee background screen including a loyalty check, eligibility check, alcohol habits check, drug use check, financial check, mental health check and personal conduct to name a few to check determine if the person is Honest, Trustworthy, Tolerant, Mature, Loyalty and Resilient – which should use national standards.

Hiring the wrong candidate can lead to a plethora of future problems for an employer, ranging from minor issues resulting in a short-lived employment relationship and repeated recruitment costs, through to more serious problems such as trusted insider damage: fraud, violence, damage to reputation and even litigation against the employer.

Given the protections now available to employees, it is especially beneficial to be aware of any of these potential problems prior to making any job offer.

Obtaining consent from the candidate prior to conducting searches
Any employer or organisation intending to conduct a background check will be collecting sensitive and personal information. So you must be aware that legal and ethical considerations apply both prior to conducting any searches and when taking any information uncovered into account in making your decision on the successful candidate. First and foremost, consent from the candidate should be obtained prior to conducting the screen.

Complying with the Australian Privacy Principles
Secondly, issues surrounding data protection, privacy and discrimination need to be addressed. The privacy element is especially important considering that changes to privacy laws in Australia were implemented in March 2014.  Ask your background screening company: when will you delete the information gathered, what do you mask, what do you redact from the record, what identifying information do you retain?  Cleard.life

Complying with Australian anti-discrimination law
Another important issue to bear in mind when considering a preemployment online background check is Australian anti-discrimination law. Of particular importance is the Australian Human Rights Commission (HRC) Act 1986, which applies to employers and employees. Where the discovery of a criminal history record results in a person being discriminated against because of that record (eg. a job applicant is refused employment where a criminal record is revealed), your preemployment vetting service must be aware that 1 in 4 complaints to the HRC are due to this issue. Our preemployment probity investigation and analysis uses national standard and common vetting techniques to make a favourable (or unfavourable) recommendation. The employer is not privy to the Candidate’s answers. The employer will not know what is discussed between the Vetting officer and the Candidate. Uniquely, Cleard.life’s Recommendation takes into account all the criminal history issues (think: who, what, when, where and why), plus the other nine areas of a person’s life we screen and places any adverse or potentially disqualifying issues into the context of a person’s life. In the vetting industry, this type of analysis is called a Whole Of Life Assessment and the Result reflects this.

Benefits to Pre-screening Applicants are many:
Discourages applicants with something to hide.
Uncovers falsified or “puffed” credentials.
Eliminates uncertainties in the hiring process.
Demonstrates due diligence.
Encourages applicants to be honest and truthful.
Saves money & time spent on recruiting, hiring and training.
Can help protect against negligent hiring lawsuits.
Reduces chance of injury to employees.
Reduces employee theft.
Reduces turnover.
Reduces workplace violence.
Reduces insurance premiums.
Increases productivity and employee morale.

Contact us today on (02) 61-71-41-71 to discuss your requirements.

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