Police checks are an important part of many employment processes. They help employers weed out unsuitable candidates based on their ‘relevant’ criminal past. This helps to protect companies and their clients from potential harm. It also helps to create a positive workplace environment.
Although not all Australian occupations legally require an australian federal police check, a lot do. Some of which include, but are limited to, lawyers, drivers, teachers, community care workers, correction staff, financial brokers, health practitioners, aged-care workers, and building practitioners. Between 2004 and 2018, the numbers of police checks requested from the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission more than quadrupled to over 5 million, indicating that employers are becoming more aware of its importance.
Here’s how ways police checks help create a thriving workplace environment:
- Promoting Workplace Safety
Every employer has the responsibility of ensuring they provide a safe workplace where staff members can carry out their job effectively. Therefore, employers have to be able to identify applicants that may threaten workplace safety. For instance, an applicant with a consistent criminal record of violence may be unsuitable for the role. Similarly, a repeat sex offender will sexually harass co-workers, thereby diminishing workplace safety. But with police certificates, employers can identify such people.
- Maintaining Brand Reputation
Reputational damage can have devastating consequences for any business. Imagine a scenario where a violent exchange between two employees makes it to social media platforms, or a senior executive member makes headline for sexual harassment or the COO gets involved in an internal crime. All this can make the public lose their trust in such a company. Moreover, the employees get a negative vibe at work. Recovering from such damage can be difficult.
- Theft Prevention
A positive work environment is one where the efforts of the employees directly translate into growing the company. In the situation where there is theft, the company will lose money and it may threaten their existence. Considering that 70% of theft is carried out by current and former employees, this scenario isn’t far-fetched. With a police clearance, it’s possible to weed out applicants with a criminal history of theft.
- Protection of Data and Assets
Living in the digital age makes data one of the most valuable assets for many companies. People usually have easy access to company and client data once they get into the organization. That’s why businesses have a responsibility to protect that data. The first step towards data protection is by ensuring that the employees are trustworthy and less likely to breach the data. Police checks can help in making the right hiring decisions.
- Maintaining Low Employee Turnover
When the workplace is unsafe, employees tend to leave. On the other hand, engaged employees are generally happier, perform better, and stay with a company longer than disengaged employees. Furthermore, the economic loss associated with high turnover can harm any business. But with criminal history checks, applicants that may threaten workplace safety can be avoided.
Police checks are extremely helpful for gaining useful insights into the criminal history of applicants or even current employees. Armed with the information, employers can then make the right hiring decisions that will maintain workplace integrity, boost productivity, and ensure growth.
Author: Sean Wen