Can you legally refuse to hire a criminal?
Employers that refuse to hire someone on the basis of their past criminal convictions could be violating international obligations, legal experts say.
While discriminating against a job applicant because they have a criminal history is not unlawful under federal anti-discrimination law, McDonald Murholme lawyer Trent Hancock says this form of discrimination is prohibited by the International Labour Organisation Convention 111.
The Convention is a schedule to the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986, giving the AHRC the power to investigate any discrimination complaints and alleged breaches, and prepare reports for the Attorney-General which must be tabled in Parliament. Employers can then be ordered to take remedial action as a result of the recommendations of this report, said Hancock.
Continue reading to learn Hancock's top tips for HR professionals when dealing with criminal investigations and past convictions in the workplace.