If you want to incorporate police checks into your organisation’s criminal history screening process, you should consider developing a comprehensive written policy first. The advantages are numerous.
A transparent, company-wide police check policy reduces any risk of your new and existing employees feeling personally targeted or discriminated against. A well-documented policy clarifies any misconceptions about the criminal history screening process, as thorough and thoughtful information is readily available and always on-hand. Given that criminal history checks could reveal sensitive information about a person’s past, it is always better to make sure your employees don’t feel ambushed or anxious about the process.
As a rule, your police check policy should be in writing, published, and contain the following components:
- An official statement from your organisation, vowing to adhere to all your legal obligations in this regard – including the relevant labour laws, privacy laws, as well as laws governing the disclosure of past convictions;
- A statement of commitment to comply with industry-specific legislation, if applicable;
- Honest and detailed information about the protections that employees or job candidates are entitled to;
- A statement of purpose explaining your company’s risk-mitigation goal for conducting company-wide police checks;
- Elaborate procedural information about police checks, including how they are conducted, what they reveal, which staff members would have access to such information, and how the data is stored;
- Information about your internal determination process, including what steps your organisation would take when it learns about an employee’s criminal record, and your criteria for assessing whether a particular record is relevant to a position; and
- An outline for available employee grievance mechanisms in this regard.
If possible, consult widely with your employees, and involve them in the process of developing this criminal history check policy. It will help foster a positive and inclusive culture, where they also feel committed to the company’s risk-mitigation goal, and not like they’re in the line of fire. It would also give you a chance to review the criminal history screening policy to hear about what works and what doesn’t, making the process more user-friendly and comfortable.
Do you want to create or refine your organisation’s police check policy? Download our Free Police Check Policy Template and reduce your employment related risks today.