What has changed?
As and from 1 October 2019, employers will now be able to reject jobseekers if they have a criminal record “relevant to the job” which they have applied for.
Previously, employers were required to show that the jobseeker’s criminal record meant that they could not perform the inherent requirements of the position.
Catalyst for change
The catalyst for change was prompted by a case in 2018 where:
- Suncorp argued that a jobseeker’s criminal record for child pornography offences tainted his integrity and as such he could not be trusted to work unsupervised from home with sensitive client data
- the Australian Human Rights Commission, however, held that his child pornography convictions were not offences of dishonesty and that Suncorp had unlawfully discriminated against the jobseeker by withdrawing a job offer upon learning of his child pornography offences
In a media release on 3 October 2019 the Attorney-General for Australia and the Minister for Industrial Relations, the Hon Christian Porter MP, commented that: