Employers to receive more access to cross-Tasman criminal history checks

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New Zealand and Australian employers are to have greater access to respective national criminal history checks for employment vetting purposes.

The move follows a successful trial of criminal history information sharing between New Zealand and Queensland. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will be developed to expand the trial to all Australian states and to all eligible Australian and New Zealand organisations.

Minister of Justice, Judith Collins, stated that New Zealand employers often need both Australian and New Zealand criminal history checks to make fully informed employment decisions.

“This is particularly important for positions that involve working with children and vulnerable people to help protect our communities from people who may pose a risk,” she said.

Australian Attorney-General, Senator George Brandis QC Senator, who made the announcement with Collins, added that at any one time there are approximately 600,000 New Zealanders in Australia.

“As the movement of workers between Australia and New Zealand has grown it makes sense that employers in both Australia and New Zealand have access to the type of background information that is available for local workers,” he said.

The existing trial allowed participating employers to request criminal history checks on behalf of job candidates who had given consent. 

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