Pre-employment screening in health and aged care
A critical lesson from the Quakers Hill Nursing Home disaster is to conduct adequate pre-employment screening and check references on new employees.
These principles may also be applied to conducting adequate background checks and checking references on independent contractors such as agency staff, volunteers and potential residents. Importantly the screening process must comply with Australian Privacy Principles, anti-discrimination legislation and other laws. By revealing information in relation to attributes protected under anti-discrimination laws, the screening of job applicants can expose an employer to a claim alleging breach of those laws.
If employers regard the screening process information as essential to their recruitment decision-making, they should ensure that such information has a clear connection to the inherent requirements of the position.