It's your legal duty to create a safe workplace.
But when you unknowingly hire employees with previous criminal convictions, you could be putting your business at risk. And, what most employers don't know is that, 'if you hire someone with a criminal record and this decision results in harm, you could be held liable,' warns The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service.
Luckily, there are methods your company can use to avoid this.
Use these three methods to determine your employees' criminal record
Fingerprint records: The best proof of a previous criminal conviction is the existence of the accused fingerprint record (the SAP69). Since a person's criminal record is a matter of public record, you don't have to be concerned about invasion of privacy. Remember that although, you're entitled to relevant public information, it's always best to access the information with the written consent of your employee.
Implementing a blanket policy: You can put in place a blanket policy, which tries to establish the criminal records of all employees. But keep in mind, this method could get your employees hot under the collar. Employees may react with hostility and defensiveness and may feel strongly that you're violating their privacy. For this reason, you should carefully consider this policy before implementing it.
Establishing your employees' criminal records on a case-by-case basis: Of the three, this is the best method your company can implement. It involves asking employees for their prior criminal convictions on a case-by-case basis, preferably where some practical reason exists for doing so.
Using these methods will help you establish your employees' criminal record and help you avoid the trouble of hiring a convicted employee without knowing it.