Being charged with a criminal record may disqualify you from certain careers or job opportunities. This is because employers perform background checks on job applicants when they’re hiring. They don’t do this out of prejudice or malice, but rather, to protect their company from potential risks.
- Jobs that you won’t be able to get
- Why certain industries won’t hire you
- What the Australian law says about hiring an individual with a criminal record
Jobs That May Disqualify Applicants With A Criminal Record
- Truck driver or courier – especially if you have been convicted of driving-related offences
- Bank clerk
- Bar manager (where handling of money or valuables is required)
- Restaurant or cafe all-rounder (where handling of money or valuables is required)
- Food & beverage attendant (where handling of money or valuables is required)
- Front of house (where handling of money or valuables is required)
- Retail assistant (where handling of money or valuables is required)
- Sales/shop assistant (where handling of money or valuables is required)
- Retail cashier (where handling of money or valuables is required)
- Teacher assistant – especially if you have been convicted of assault or sexual offences
- Relief teacher – especially if you have been convicted of assault or sexual offences
- Student services officer – especially if you have been convicted of assault or sexual offences
- Room leader – especially if you have been convicted of assault or sexual offences
- Early parenting educator or early childhood teacher – especially if you have been convicted with assault or sexual offences
- Medical receptionist – especially if you have been convicted of a drug-related offence.
It is important to note that in many cases, as long as the job and its responsibilities do not correspond to your criminal conviction, employers cannot use your background to deny you employment.
For example, if you have minor traffic convictions, this does not automatically exclude you from primary education job opportunities.
Why Certain Industries Do Not Hire People With Convictions
The laws are different across the country and differ state-by-state, however, here are 6 industries where a criminal record may affect your credibility and ability to get employed and why it happens.
- Finance sector: Banks and other financial services businesses will not hire prospects with a criminal background in theft, forgery or embezzlement.
- Medical field: You will be unable to work in the medical field if you’ve been convicted of any type of abuse or domestic violence charge. Human Resources for hospitals and doctor’s offices will not hire individuals with a background in theft or drug abuse.
- Logistics and supply chain: A criminal record of charges related to drunk driving or other driving-related offences will likely stop you from getting work as a driver. If you’re going to be delivering packages or mail, a history of theft charges will hold you back.
- Primary education: You cannot work as a teacher or with children in any capacity if you are unable to obtain a Working With Children’s check which you will not be granted if you have been convicted of some type of sex crime, abuse charge, assault or any serious crime.
- >Hospitality and retail: You may not be able to work as a clerk or a cashier if you have been convicted of theft because of a lack of trust and credibility when it comes to handling money.
Public office (government): You may not be able to work in any government position if you have been convicted of a drug felony.
Understanding Australian Law
Under Australian law, an employer may refuse to hire a person with a criminal history if and only if that criminal record means that the individual will be unable to perform the “inherent requirements” of the specific job they are applying for.
So, it is worth asking: is this discrimination?
A few key facts for you to keep in mind:
- In Australia, it is illegal 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 while intoxicated is illegal.
- Licensing organisations create their own rules in terms of providing licensing to individuals with criminal backgrounds. Professional membership associations will often refuse to allow individuals into their organisation 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. The law is not very precise in determining inherent requirements for many positions so the fight might be difficult but, if you believe that you’ve been discriminated against and you’re in the position to fight it, then you should go for it.
Employers may not hire someone because of their criminal record but hide the reasoning behind their choice. 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 when they feel they have been unjustly discriminated against. Equally, employers have the right to protect their business and their employees.
If you believe you are being discriminated against based on your criminal history you can work with a lawyer to prove this in a court of law.
Additionally, if you’re currently in the midst of a criminal-related case and are worried about your future job prospects, contact us today and brief us on your matter. LY Lawyers is the most trusted criminal lawyers in Sydney and can help with your defence.