What happens if a record is found?

In cases of a criminal record being found, MACRO alerts the employer. It is left to the employer’s discretion as to if they would like to proceed with hiring the individual and in what capacity.

What are the odds in hiring a felon?
Although our Government does not officially publish how many people in Australia have criminal records, we do know that in 2012 our criminal offence rate was just over 1.87%.  (see http://www.aic.gov.au/media_library/publications/facts/2012/facts_and_figures_2012.pdf)

That means 1.87 criminal offences per 100 people were committed in 2012.

What jobs attract most felons?

Studies have found that 80% of a business’ theft or fraud occurs by its own staff.
Sales and finance attract the most white color crimes, while drug or violence related offences are more prevalent in trade’s jobs.

What is involved in getting a police check?

There are several online providers of police checks. They generally take 1-14 days to provide a result and cost $42. A police record check provides a summary of your offender history in Australia. Police record checks are also called national police certificates.

When else are criminal history checks usually done for employment?
Some employers and licensing and registration bodies are legally required to check your criminal record when you apply to them for a job, licence or registration.

Your criminal history may be checked if you apply for a job working in such areas as:

  • with children
  • for some government positions e.g. teacher, police officer
  • in the gaming and racing industry
  • a public passenger driver e.g. bus, taxi
  • in the legal profession
  • in prisons

Employers and licensing and registration bodies must follow the law when determining suitability for a job, licence, or registration.

Old (spent) convictions

Each state has different laws about old convictions (also known as ‘spent convictions’).

Under spent conviction laws, employees and job applicants don’t have to disclose old convictions to anyone unless the law specifically requires them to. Applying for a blue card is an example of when you must disclose old convictions.

Police will not give your employer information about a spent conviction on a police check unless there is an exemption requiring them to do so.

If your employer finds out about a spent conviction by other means, such as word of mouth, they are not allowed to consider it when deciding whether to offer you a job.

What is discrimination on the basis of criminal record?

Criminal record discrimination occurs when someone does not experience equality of opportunity in employment because of their criminal record. This may include being refused a job, dismissed from employment, denied training opportunities or being harassed at work on the basis of their criminal record.
What is not discrimination on the basis of criminal record?

It is not discrimination if a person’s criminal record means that he or she is unable to perform the inherent requirements of a particular job. This must be determined on a case-by-case basis, according to the nature of the job and the nature of the criminal record. Employers in certain industries may also be legally obliged to refuse employment to people with certain types of criminal records.

Is discrimination on the basis of criminal record unlawful?

Criminal record discrimination is not unlawful under federal law. However, the Commission may investigate complaints of discrimination in employment on the basis of criminal record and, where appropriate, try to resolve them by conciliation.

At the state level, Tasmania and the Northern Territory have laws that make criminal record discrimination unlawful. However, in other states and territories, criminal record discrimination is not specifically prohibited by law.

What Shows Up on an Employment Police Check?

The laws of what shows up on police checks vary between states and territories, however, the general rule is that it will only display previous guilty convictions that were within the last 10 years. If you were under 17/18 at the time of conviction, this record will become ‘spent’ after five years, yet above this age it will expire ten years after. All convictions containing a custodial sentence of more than 30 months will be recorded in a police check regardless. If the last recorded offence qualifies under one of these guideline, all previous criminal history will be shown, even juvenile offences.

Things that won’t generally be included in your personal police check include: not-guilty outcomes, issues dropped by the police, on-the-spot fines and infringement notices, infringement court orders and police cautions. Note that this is only for police checks related to employment. Criminal records for use in court will include your entire criminal history.