What If An Employee Refuses To Apply For A Criminal History Check?


To mitigate the risk of wrongful hiring, organisations can perform a Criminal History Check that reveals information securely and legally – something that we at KONCHECK take utmost care to ensure. By doing so, an organisation can help assess the risks for a particular job role.

For compliance purposes, some companies require police checks to be conducted on existing employees, sometimes regularly, and for new employees at the time of hiring.

This can mean the employer gathers personal information from individuals who may or may not be shortlisted for the job. It raises the possibility of privacy violations and makes them vulnerable to criminal record discrimination lawsuits.

What You Can Do Instead

As the checks contain confidential information, the candidate can exercise some rights. For example, an employee can directly refuse to obtain a Police check. So before anything else, it is crucial to understand that a Criminal History Check cannot be performed without the consent of the applicant being checked.

While listing the job advertisement, the employer should clearly mention the interviewee will be required to undergo a criminal history check if shortlisted.

It would be wise to implement an integrated police checking policy for the organisation. The presence of this criminal background screening policy makes the procedure seem more equitable and fair, easing workers' fears regarding police checks.

However, a candidate may still hesitate or refuse to provide their consent for the check. In this article, let’s see how the employer can deal with this scenario.

Update Employees

If your organisation decides to implement a new police checking policy or wants to bring some changes to the old policy, it is always crucial to inform all current employees. It is essential to maintain transparency and to make employees understand how it would be beneficial for the organisation in mitigating risks.

Provide Reasoning

An employer can arrange a private meeting or a seminar with the applicant(s) or employee(s) if they refuse to give consent. The senior manager can schedule the meeting to thoroughly explain the new provisions for Criminal Checks, why they are justified, and how the job role demands them to go through the procedure.

The management should clearly convey that there is a robust confidentiality policy, and that the business meets all laws on fair work and criminal history discrimination. Also, the candidate will have the right to clarify, provide more information to the employer and dispute any disclosed criminal findings with the police checking provider. It is essential to gain the trust of the people.

Explain the Process

Some candidates oppose undertaking a Police check because they are unsure about how transparent the process is. For example, let them know the application process and the information and documentation requested in the form, and if they obtain the check from KONCHECK, the result doesn't directly go to the employer at first.

Applicants can share the certificate with their employer at their discretion. Explaining the process can help in assuring them.

Disclosing Results

The employer should let the applicants know they have a right to dispute the outcome or provide additional information/reasoning for their criminal history. Also, it is crucial to clarify that having a criminal history doesn't automatically disqualify that person from the job.

It is also important to inform applicants of the type of criminal history that can be disclosed on the certificate and the police agencies the check is run through.

Termination based on Criminal History

As discussed earlier, having a criminal record doesn't always imply that the applicant will get disqualified or sacked. What happens in the case of offences that are irrelevant to the job role? Do keep in mind discrimination in employment on the basis of criminal records is illegal in Australia.

Some employees are not aware of the platforms their grievances can be heard at, in the case of such discrimination. Making them aware of the Human Rights Commission should help you gain their trust.

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