Criminal convictions produce a huge obstacle in getting a job, house, loan, etc. Up until now, Victoria had no provision of a spent conviction scheme that allowed criminal convictions to appear on the police record check irrespective of the time duration.
The state of Victoria has passed the Spent Conviction Act 2021 effective from 1st December 2021 - meaning old convictions won’t show up on most police checks.
The update in the legislation has changed the dynamics for national police check victoria. Up ahead in this post, we will see how and more so, what it holds for standard employment Police Records Check.
To Understand The Topic Thoroughly, We Have Bifurcated It Into The Following List of Contents:
- What is a spent conviction?
- How does a conviction become spent?
- When can a spent conviction be disclosed?
- What does it mean for employers and employees?
- 5 Do you have to apply to get a conviction spent?
Spent Conviction - National Police Check VIC
A spent conviction is a record that is not shown or taken into consideration for background checks.
In other words, it is a crime you were charged & found guilty of by the court but that won’t show up on most Criminal History Checks (Police Records Checks).
Spent Conviction Act 2021 (VIC) will align the state of Victoria with other Australian states & territories.
How does a Conviction Become Spent?
The three ways for a conviction to be considered spent are as follows:
- Where convictions are spent immediately
- Where convictions are spent after a certain amount of time
- Where convictions are spent by application to the court
Let’s have a Deeper Look:
Immediately Spent Convictions
Below-listed Convictions are Immediately Spent Automatically on The Day You Were Convicted If:
- You were found guilty but your case was recorded ‘without conviction’
- You were found not guilty under mental impairment or unfit to be tried
- You were under 15 when the offense was committed
- You were sentenced in Children’s Court & the penalty was only a fine
- The conviction was for an infringement
Conviction Free Period
From the very first day that you become convicted, your conviction period begins. A few of the convictions remain until the ‘Conviction Free Period’ has ended. Some of them are listed below: -
- Detention or imprisonment of under 30 months
- Not convicted for a sexual offense
- Not convicted for a serious violence offense
Convictions become spent after a period of 5 years for a minor and 10 years for an adult.
Applying To the Court
Convictions need to be eligible in order to be spent automatically. However, if it is not then, you may be able to apply to the court for a spent conviction order.
The Conditions to Apply are: -
- If you were given a ‘serious conviction’, and
- The ‘conviction-free period’ has ended.
And One of The Following Must Hold True:
- You were young when the conviction was given OR
- You were convicted of sexual or serious violence offense & no term of imprisonment was imposed OR
- You were an adult and was sentenced to less than 5 years of imprisonment
When Can a Spent Conviction be Disclosed?
Spent convictions can be disclosed under the following circumstances:
- Applying for a Working with Children Check
- Looking for a job as a taxi or bus driver
- Occupational licensing, such as teachers, lawyers, health professionals
- Licenses for business activities, such as gambling operations & licensed premises
- Employment or contracting of persons to work with the vulnerable community
- Australian Police Check Victoria for some jobs
- In legal proceedings
- Information sharing
What Does It Mean for Employers & Employees? Police Check Victoria Online
Employers across Australia have been increasingly found to conduct national police checks for employment as a part of their recruitment drive.
From now onwards, National Police Certificate Victoria will no longer show spent convictions on these Police Records Checks. Also, employees or potential candidates are no longer required to disclose spent convictions to their employer.
Additionally, the Equal opportunity Act 2010 has been amended to include spent conviction as a protected attribute on the basis of which discrimination is prohibited under that Act (sections 27-29). It means that it will be unlawful to discriminate against a person because of a spent conviction.
Importantly, police, courts, and designated government entities will still have access to spent convictions. When a person is applying for a job within those entities, full records of their National Police Checks may be accessed.
KONCHECK can help organizations with on-demand Background Check services.
We are an ACIC accredited national police check provider delivering NCCHC Certificates across Australia.
Most of the police clearance certificates are delivered within 1-2 business days.