Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe workplace environment for their staff and clients. That’s why over 84% of employers make use of criminal history checks to verify the past conduct of applicants. Applicants with egregious crimes like assault, sex offenders, or repeat offenders pose danger to the workplace and so, they might experience difficulty gaining employment.
Job applicants with a criminal past know this and that is why they try to suppress such incriminating information in hopes that they won’t get discovered. Unfortunately, if a background check uncovers information that is different from what an applicant had claimed, it can be grounds for rescinding an employment offer or termination of employment. Therefore, lying is a no-no. Here’s how applicants with a criminal history can deal with their situation.
Know Your Rights
In October 2019, the Australian Human Rights Commission Regulations 2019 came into effect, where the statutory definition of ‘discrimination’ was changed as it relates to criminal records. In this new law, ‘discrimination’ includes any exclusion or preference made on the ground of ‘irrelevant criminal record’.
Imagine a scenario where a person was indicted for financial fraud in the past, it’s highly unlikely such a person secures employment in the financial sector again. But sometimes, what constitutes an ‘irrelevant criminal record’ might be a gray area. That’s why in addition to the offense itself, employers have to consider the surrounding circumstances to get a better picture as to what happened.
Get Your Charges Expunged
This applies to applicants whose charges were dropped. They need to check with the court to see that the arrest or charge has been expunged from their record. If not, answering ‘no’ to the common application question, “Have you ever been arrested for a crime?” is a lie.
After getting the record expunged, the applicant should carry out a national police check on themselves to see what comes up. This way, they can be sure that no criminal record will pop up when a potential employer carries out a criminal history check.
Use Good Judgement
Applicants should read the application questions carefully and use good judgment when answering. If an applicant’s record has been expunged then it’s as though they’ve never been arrested for a crime.
However, if an applicant has one, it’s best to say the truth if asked rather than lying. The simple truth is criminal history checks are one of the easiest checks to carry because of many online criminal databases that are easily accessible. Therefore, suppressing a criminal record is almost impossible.
Employers are generally wary of applicants with a criminal record and are much warier of an applicant with a criminal record and who’s also a liar. Even if the truth doesn’t come out now, it will eventually come out later on. By then, it will have a way more devastating impact on the life and career of the affected employee.