The returning employees after the global coronavirus outbreak raise a few do-overs for the hiring team and HR managers. In some parts of the world, the 2nd wave of COVID-19 is still a pressing issue. 

Corporate and certain industry sectors have opened the doors for the “New Normal” to settle in and begin with the employment re-screening. This brings us to our today’s topic of what you should do when you conduct a criminal history check and find any charges or convictions.

We might need to run a few errands before we dive deep into the topic.

What is a Criminal History Check or National Police Check?

Criminal history checks bring out records of any violations or criminal charges against the law an applicant may hold. These could be either ongoing, pending, or any prior convictions that can be disclosed by the law.

Australian citizens and immigrants can apply for the check for various reasons. Moreover, the consent-based national police check is a part of the rigorous recruiting process. To mitigate the risk of fraud, stealing, criminal activity, and threats, national police checks are carried by organizations as a part of their assessment to hire a potential candidate.

Police Clearance certificates can be conducted Australia-wide or even state-wise depending upon the need of an organization. A candidate might be looking to obtain National Police Check SA, National Police Check NSW, Police Check Victoria for Australia, New South Wales, Queensland, etc., so on and forth.

Moreover, the records released are basically of two types. A “No Disclosable Court Outcomes (NDCO)” result, which simply means the applicant does not hold any criminal history, or a “Disclosable Court Outcomes (DCO)” result. Check more What are the possible outcomes of a Criminal History Check.

Here are a few important steps you need to take when you come across any such disclosable court outcomes or pending charges. 

Clear Communication

A pre-employment Background Check allows recruiting team to know beforehand about any possible unfavorable outcome in a job applicant's file. Communicating with the said candidate will not only make the matter clear but also help build a good relation.

If the person isn’t aware of such changes on the file then it gives them the chance to correct or challenge the outcome. If those outcomes are true, then it presents them with an opportunity to give an explanation and clear the matter.

Anyhow, remember, employment screening is not only a crucial step to inculcate in the hiring process but also should be a mandatory one.

Everyone Deserves A Second Chance

If all the allegations are true and if the court has convicted the said person for the unlawful actions which you came across as a part of due diligence - the best step you can take is to allow the candidate to have an open conversation without being judgemental.

Communication plays a vital role in most situations. When you talk with an open mind - there is always a plausible explanation underneath.

Knowing more about the circumstance will help you make an informed decision. Moreover, the said charges could also be from a while ago - which does not make them unsuited for the position applied or merely a threat to the company or fellow employees which you might have presumed before.

So, how do you conclude whether the criminal record is relevant and what steps do you need to take further?

Follow Guidelines

Before heading for a pre-employment screening ensure that your company has put in a formal policy outlining the assessment criteria. It should explain in-depth what needs to be done when encountering an application with a criminal record.

This policy document could highlight the following points:

  1. Does the said charges are relevant to the job role or description; and hence, makes it mandatory to remove from the position (e.g., Charges: Financial fraud, Job Role: Accountant);
  2. Are the charges recent or from beyond a period that is not mandated as per the assessment guidelines;
  3. Whether the offense was recorded once, or there have been multiple instances;
  4. Did the ‘Disclosable Court Outcome’ stated any harsh penance such as being incarcerated or the person just needed to do community service with no recorded conviction;
  5. Does the employee has a reasonable explanation for the existence of a criminal record;
  6. How is the employee behavior from the date of joining or any misconduct in the past within the organization;
  7. Can you consider the employee a threat to the rest of the staff of the organization;
  8. Are there any relevant laws to consider that protect individuals with this type of prior conviction?

Wrap Up

Before taking any drastic steps, kindly check twice and consult your legal team and higher management to avoid financial loss, litigation, and affecting the brand name.

Laying off an employee on the wrong ground after conducting a national police check could result in legal consequences.

KONCHECK can help organizations with on-demand background check services.

We are an ACIC accredited national police check provider delivering NCCHC certificates across Australia-wide. Most of the police clearance certificates are delivered within 1-2 business days.

Author's Bio: 

Margaret has a unique passion for blogging. She has also worked with a number of different businesses assisting them with National Police Checks. Her training and expertise helps her to share the knowledge of the same.