Attorney-General, Senator the Hon George Brandis QC and Minister of Justice, the Hon Judith Collins MP, have announced that Australia and New Zealand employers are to have greater access to respective national criminal history checks for employment vetting purposes.
The announcement follows a successful trial of criminal history information sharing between New Zealand and Queensland. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will now be developed to expand the trial to all Australian states and to all eligible Australian and New Zealand organisations. The decision was made in Sydney as part of the Australia-New Zealand Joint Cabinet Meeting.
“Often New Zealand employers need both Australian and New Zealand criminal history checks to make fully informed employment decisions,” Ms Collins says.
“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.”
Senator Brandis said that at any one time there are approximately 600,000 New Zealanders in Australia.
“Facilitating access to criminal background checks will enhance community safety and security,” said Senator Brandis.
“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.”
As part of the existing trial, participating employers were able to request criminal history checks on behalf of job candidates who had given consent.
The expanded service supports efforts to enhance the free movement of people across the Tasman and complements other trans-Tasman efforts underway to make communities safer.