It’s important to note that if you have a criminal record, you will not be automatically barred from employment. According to the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986, unless inherent requirements of a job can’t be met, all persons have the right to equal opportunity. If your Police Check is returned with a Criminal Record, there are measures that you can take to ensure equal opportunity in the workplace.

Provide your potential employer with more information:
If your potential employer believes that your criminal record is relevant, they should give you the opportunity to address it and provide them with further information regarding the circumstances surrounding the conviction.

Factors to be considered:
Each case should be decided in its individual context in relation to the position, the organisations policies and any applicable anti-discrimination guidelines.
Factors that your potential employer should consider include:

  • Your age at the time of conviction
  • How recently the crime occurred
  • Whether there is a pattern of re-offence
  • The seriousness of the offence and its relation to the specific job
  • Whether in relation to the offence there was a finding of guilt but without conviction, which indicates a less serious view of the offence by the court
  • The circumstances in which the offence took place (e.g., did the offence take place in a work, domestic or personal context)
  • Whether your circumstances have changes since the offence was committed (e.g., past drug use)
  • Whether the offence has been decriminalised by Parliament
  • Your attitude regarding the previous offending behaviour
  • References from people who knew about the offending history
  • The sentence imposed by the courts
  • Evidence of rehabilitation including subsequent work experience and character references

Contact the Australian Human Rights Commission:
If you have been rejected for a position based on the results of your police record and its relevance to the role and you believe that the organisation did not comply with the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986, contact the Australian Human Rights Commission and they can advise your best action.