Criminal background checks are quite common for employers and for new recruits. It provides the business with a level of protection from potential risks. Individuals who have a criminal history may not be as credible as a business would like from employees. All applications, including those from individuals with a criminal background must be handled in a mature and fair manner. However, many employers will not hire individuals with a criminal history.
Understand Australian Law
Keep in mind that, under Australian law, an employer may refuse to hire a person with a criminal history if that criminal record means that the individual will be unable to perform the “inherent requirements” of the specific job he or she is applying for. Consider the following jobs that some may not qualify for because of a criminal past.
Which Jobs Can’t You Do?
Considering the country’s law (and there are additional laws throughout the territories that may also impact you) you may not be hired if you have a criminal record based on your credibility. Here are some examples.
- Truck driving or any type of delivery service: It’s unlikely you will be hired for this type of job if you have a criminal record related to drunk driving or other driving-related instances.
- You cannot work in a financial industry job, such as a bank or investments, if you have a criminal background of theft.
- You cannot work in the medical field, if you’ve been convicted of any type of abuse or domestic violence charge.
- You cannot work as a teacher or instructor for youth if you’ve been convicted of some type of sex crime or abuse charge. Employers for hospitals and doctor’s offices will not hire individuals with a background in theft or drug abuse.
- You may not be able to work as a clerk or a cashier if you have been convicted of a financial-related matter such as theft.
- You may not be able to work in any government position if you’ve been convicted of a drug felony.
- You may be unable to open a business of your own if you need to be bonded to do so since this requires financial trust from third party insurers.
- Employers in white collar jobs, such as business management, are unlikely to hire someone with a criminal record of theft, domestic abuse, or driving under the influence.
- A restaurant or hotel may hire an individual with a criminal record, but only for non-customer contact positions and those without handling of money or valuables if the individual is convicted of theft.
10. Transportation industry positions will not hire individuals with a criminal background related to drunk driving.
It’s important to know that it is not illegal to have these positions. Rather, it is the frame of mind that the business owner is in and whether he or she is willing to accept you as a result of the offence.
Is It Discrimination?
A few key facts for you to keep in mind:
- It is illegal in Australia to discriminate against individuals based on a criminal record if that individual’s crime does not relate to the job. For example, refusing to hire a baker because the individual has a criminal record of driving under intoxication is not legal to do.
- Licensing organisations create their own rules in terms of providing licensing to individuals with criminal backgrounds. Professional memberships often do not allow individuals into their organization if they have a criminal background.
- If you believe you’ve been discriminated against, it can be very challenging to prove in a court of law that this occurred. The law is not very precise in determining inherent requirements for many positions. Don’t assume you can fight it.
Employers may work hard to fight against hiring an individual for a position, but may not blame it specifically on a criminal background check. For example, if ten people apply for the position, he or she can simply claim another candidate was a better fit for the company.
These are just a few examples of the many jobs you may be unable to obtain if you have a criminal record. In many situations, individuals should take every step possible to fight such charges to ensure that they can continue on the right path going forward. Employers have the right to protect their business and their employees. Individuals who believe they have been the victim of criminal history discrimination should work with an attorney to prove his or her case in a court of law whenever possible.