Not-for-profit Law
Legal help for community organisations

Recruitment and engagement of employees

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Recruiting and engaging employees raises a number of important legal issues for organisations.

Your organisation needs to bear in mind a number of different laws when it recruits employees. These include laws about equal opportunity and discrimination, the Australian Consumer Law, laws about screening potential candidates, and privacy laws. 

This page provides resources outlining legal obligations in relation to recruiting employees, discrimination in recruitment and screening checks. 

In line with best risk management practices, once recruited, an employee should be inducted, undergo appropriate training and provided with copies of all policies, procedures and other documents relevant to the role.

Business Victoria has published some resources about induction and training for employees that are relevant to organisations in all jurisdictions: 

It has also developed a Human Resources manual template for Victorian organisations (again this is also a useful resource for organisations outside of Victoria).

Legal obligations when recruiting employees

The following fact sheet includes information regarding:

  • the recruitment process
  • anti-discrimination and consumer law considerations
  • screening procedures, and
  • privacy.

Discrimination in recruiting employees

The following fact sheet is for Australian not-for-profit organisations and includes information on:

  • what is discrimination?
  • do the anti-discrimination laws apply to my organisation?
  • what is discrimination lawful?
  • best practice tips to avoid complaints of discrimination in employment or offering employment, and
  • complaint processes. 

The Not-for-profit Law privacy page has further information on privacy obligations.

Background screening of potential employees

It is important that your organisation undertakes screening and induction of employees and volunteers in a thorough and systematic way. Certain background checks are required by law (under legislation or contract) and others are discretionary.

Not-for-profit Law has produced a comprehensive guide on Screening Checks which includes information on: 

  • Working with Children Checks
  • Police Checks (sometimes called National Police Checks or Criminal Record Checks)
  • interstate and overseas screening
  • other types of screening checks, and
  • recent child safety law reforms relevant to screening. 

Extra resources

Your organisation needs to bear in mind a number of different laws when it recruits employees. These include laws about equal opportunity and discrimination, laws about screening procedures, and privacy laws. There are also Commonwealth laws which prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, age, disability and race. 

The following fact sheets and web pages will help your organisation in the recruitment process.

Background screening of potential employees

It is important that your organisation undertakes screening and induction of employees and volunteers in a thorough and systematic way. Certain background checks are required by law (under legislation or contract) and others are discretionary.

Not-for-profit Law has produced a comprehensive guide on Screening Checks which includes information on: 

  • Working with Children Checks
  • Police Checks (sometimes called National Police Checks or Criminal Record Checks)
  • interstate and overseas screening
  • other types of screening checks, and
  • recent child safety law reforms relevant to screening. 

Extra resources

 

Background screening of potential employees

It is important that your organisation undertakes screening and induction of employees and volunteers in a thorough and systematic way. Certain background checks are required by law (under legislation or contract) and others are discretionary.

Not-for-profit Law has produced a comprehensive guide on Screening Checks which includes information on: 

  • Blue Card Checks
  • legal obligations under Blue Card Checks
  • Blue Card Check applications
  • what a Blue Card Check does
  • Police Checks, and
  • other checks. 

Background screening of potential employees

It is important that your organisation undertakes screening and induction of employees and volunteers in a thorough and systematic way. Certain background checks are required by law (under legislation or contract) and others are discretionary.

Not-for-profit Law has produced a comprehensive guide on Screening Checks which includes information on: 

  • legal obligations under Working with Children Checks (WWC Checks
  • WWC Check applications
  • what does a WWC Check risk assessment do?
  • Police Checks, and
  • other checks. 

CAUTION: The South Australian Government has recently passed legislation that will significantly change the law on checks needed for people who work with children. The Child Safety (Prohibited Persons) Act 2016 (the new Act) passed parliament in November 2016, but the Government has yet to announce a date for its commencement. Read more hereThe guide below explains the screening checks regime in South Australia as it currently stands, but includes various ‘cautions’ that this will change when the new Act comes into force. References to the new Act should be taken as general guidance only; much of the detail will be contained in regulations which are yet to be drafted. You should contact the Government of South Australia’s screening checks unit for updated information here or you can call 1300 321 592 or email at DCSIscreeningunit@sa.gov.au

Background screening of potential employees

It is important that your organisation undertakes screening and induction of employees and volunteers in a thorough and systematic way. Certain background checks are required by law (under legislation or contract) and others are discretionary.

Not-for-profit Law has produced a comprehensive guide on Screening Checks which includes information on: 

  • legal obligations under Working with Vulnerable People Registration 
  • Working with Vulnerable People applications
  • what does a Working with Vulnerable People risk assessment do?
  • Police Checks, and
  • other checks. 

Background screening of potential employees

It is important that your organisation undertakes screening and induction of employees and volunteers in a thorough and systematic way. Certain background checks are required by law (under legislation or contract) and others are discretionary.

Not-for-profit Law has produced a comprehensive guide on Screening Checks which includes information on: 

  • legal obligations under Working with Vulnerable People Registration 
  • Working with Vulnerable People applications
  • what does a Working with Vulnerable People risk assessment do?
  • Police Checks, and
  • other checks. 

Background screening of potential employees

It is important that your organisation undertakes screening and induction of employees and volunteers in a thorough and systematic way. Certain background checks are required by law (under legislation or contract) and others are discretionary.

Not-for-profit Law has produced a comprehensive guide on Screening Checks which includes information on: 

  • Working with Children Clearances (WWC Clearances)
  • legal obligations under WWC Clearances
  • WWC Clearance applications
  • what a WWC Clearance does
  • Police Checks, and
  • other checks. 

Extra resources

Australian Human Rights Commission Vicarious Liability Fact Sheet

This fact sheet contains guidance and resources for employers to prevent discrimination and harassment in the workplace.

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