People with a criminal record often struggle to find employment in Australia, but that doesn’t mean that’s impossible. It’s difficult and ex-felons are keenly aware of the stigma associated with criminal records, but with a little patience and determination they can find decent jobs. Also, being honest about your past helps a lot. Here are a few ideas on getting a job after being released from prison.
Do all jobs require background checks?
Theoretically, no, not all types of jobs require a background check. Under Australian law, criminal history checks are mandatory for people seeking employment in the healthcare system.
Also, if you are looking for a job where you’ll have to interact with children, elderly or disabled people you will also be asked to submit to a police check from services like ANCC – www.australiannationalcharactercheck.com.au which enable the process online and make it less tedious to carry out the background check. Even if you want to work as a caretaker in an institution for the elderly or a hospice, you’ll need a background check. That is because such jobs require a special permit.
Also you won’t be able to apply for work in the police, penitentiary or judicial system.
If you were convicted for financial crimes, it’s pointless to seek employment in a bank or other financial institutions.
What sort of job can I get?
The first thing you need to know is that more and more businesses now ask for police clearance as part of their pre-employment screening, even if this is not mandated by law.
They do that simply to protect the rest of the employees from potentially dangerous people. Also, they want to protect the company from possible fraud or theft.
On the other hand, you need to understand your rights. It is illegal for a business to turn down your application simply based on you having a criminal record. They can only do that if the offences on your record are in any way relevant for the job you’re applying for.
Let’s see what this means. For instance, if you were convicted of fraud you cannot expect to be hired as an accountant and the recruiting agent is within the law if they reject your application.
The same applies if you have a history of alcohol-related problems. It would be irresponsible for a business owner to hire you as a driver if you have a drinking problem.
However, if you apply for a position that has nothing to do with driving, they cannot legally turn you down.
What’s the best way to find a job if you have a criminal record?
After you’re released from prison it is imperative to find yourself a job. Any job. Don’t think about your qualifications or the job you used to do before. That’s in the past. Apply for jobs in small companies who cannot afford to be very picky.
If you’re asked about your criminal record during the job interview, be honest about your past. They might ask you to submit to a background check anyway and if they find out you lied, you can forget about that job.
Take any job you’re offered and prove yourself trustworthy. In time, you might get a promotion and better wages. At the same time, when you prove you’re able to keep a job for a couple of years, you can start looking for a better job.
You’ll still have to explain your criminal record, but at least your employment record will show that you’ve managed to change your life so they’ll be more willing to give you a chance.