Hiring Practices in Australia

In Australia, there is no express prohibition on an employer conducting pre-employment checks. There are, however, two broad qualifications to this general position:

  • The first is that the employer will generally need the consent of the job candidate concerned to perform the relevant pre-employment checks. However, so long as the purpose of the check is to objectively evaluate the candidate’s qualifications and ability to perform the role, the candidate should provide his or her consent. If the candidate fails to do so, then in most circumstances he or she could be fairly excluded from the recruitment process.
  • The second qualification is that the employer will need to be wary of how it uses the information acquired from the relevant pre-employment checks. This is because improper use of results could potentially constitute:
    • a breach of privacy laws;
    • a breach of State or Federal anti-discrimination laws; or
    • “adverse action” against a prospective employee
For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Australia, please contact Michael Harmer, Partner at Harmers Workplace Lawyers ( at
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