Getting a job can be difficult when you have a criminal record, which is why many people wonder if Australian employers have a legal right to ask for background checks. There is no clear-cut answer to this question. In some cases, employers not only can ask for criminal history checks, but they are mandated by law to do so. In other cases, the law is a bit vague and open to interpretation. In this article we’ll have a look at both cases, so you can evaluate your chances of landing the job you want.
When are background checks mandatory?
There are certain types of jobs for which employers are required by law to do a background check on all employees.
Take, for instance, the healthcare system. Police checks are mandatory because you’ll be working with vulnerable people, as well as because in a hospital environment people have easy access to controlled substances.
At the same time, people seeking employment in the prison system or the legal system are also required to undergo a criminal history check, and it’s easy to see why. Also, when you’re looking for a job that has anything to do with children, you need to obtain a Working With Children permit, and it’s more than a routine background check you’ll have to undergo.
The same rules apply to jobs in care homes, where interaction with elderly or disabled individuals requires vigilance due to their vulnerability. This is why firms recruiting for such industries should keep background checks in mind while crafting onboarding programs with Rival or similar companies. This approach ensures compliance with legal requirements and the creation of a safe environment for both employees and those they serve.
What other jobs might require a police check?
Employers can ask a job applicant about their criminal record if that’s in any way relevant to the job. That’s what the law says, and it’s not very specific.
If you want to work as a security guard, they’ll probably ask for a background check, especially if you’re going to carry a weapon. In this case a background check is relevant.
What about an accountant position? How is a criminal background check relevant? It is relevant if you have theft, fraud, or embezzlement convictions. An employer can ask you to submit a police check basically for any job that might involve handling money or goods. If there’s something that can be stolen, the employer can understandably screen for people with theft offenses on their record.
If you apply for a position as a driver, the employer might ask for a police check to see if you have any traffic-related offenses, including driving under the influence, as this is relevant to the job. However, there can be a case where you might get wrongly accused, and that may affect your chances of getting a job. Then, you can look for a lawyer for failed background check in Denver (or elsewhere) who can help you get the false accusations off your profile.
How can I check what’s on my criminal record?
If you’re not sure what offences might be on your record, you can order a background check on yourself, using an online service like the ANCC website: australiannationalcharactercheck.com.au which are generally easy to use and extremely fast. You get the results in a couple of days sent via email.
Checking your criminal record is a good idea if you have old convictions. Minor offences become spent after 10 years, so they won’t be disclosed anymore when you submit to a police check. Basically, your employer won’t know about them and you don’t have to tell them about them.
One more thing you need to know. Your employer cannot order a background check on you without your written consent. That would be illegal.