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Human Rights Commission tells employers to compensate or apologise to crims

BOSSES are being forced to pay compensation to crims who lodge a discrimination claim when they are sacked over their criminal records.
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Human Rights Commission tells employers to compensate or apologise to crims

Human Rights Commission tells employers to compensate or apologise to crims

11 November 2016


This article was originally featured on The Daily Telegraph. http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/compensation-con-rights-commission-tells-employs-to-compensate-or-apologise-to-crims/news-story/232094ff2f9ca643c1a68b0003fedd7e



 

BOSSES are being forced to pay compensation to crims who lodge a discrimination claim when they are sacked over their criminal records.

Already under fire on a number of fronts, the Australian Human Rights Commission has told employers to compensate or apologise to criminals who lied on their job application forms.

A company that sacked a storeman after discovering his convictions for burglary and theft had to pay him a staggering $2900 and give him a reference after a secret conciliation session with the AHRC.

An assistant store manager convicted for possession of child pornography pocketed $2000 for “hurt and suffering’’ after he was sacked over the four-year-old offence.

ANZ Bank was told to apologise to a convicted armed robber who it refused to hire as an IT project manager.

And a liquor store shelled out $5000 in compo to a sales assistant who was sacked for lying about his conviction for “indecent dealings with a minor’’ five years earlier.

A male nurse with a stalking conviction won $2000 compo after an aged care home withdrew its job offer upon discovering his criminal record.

The extraordinary cases are among 77 so-called “discrimination claims” the AHRC ­received in 2015-16.

They follow two controversial complaints investigated by AHRC president Gillian Triggs and tabled in federal parliament last year.

Employment Minister Michaelia Cash weighed into the debate yesterday, saying bosses should not have to ­compensate workers who do “the wrong thing’’.

“It is concerning to see ­reports of employers having to pay go-away money in situations where the employee has done the wrong thing,’’ she said.

Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive James Pearson said it was costly and time consuming for employers to defend discrimination claims.

“It is little wonder some employers pay ‘go away’ money.

“Employment law can be hard for many business people to get their heads around, ­especially given complex and overlapping anti-discrimination, unfair dismissal and general protection laws,” he said.

The discrimination claims were lodged under the Australian Human Rights Commission Act. The AHRC said employers should only ask job applicants and employees to disclose a criminal record if it is relevant to the job and ­employees should not have to disclose spent convictions.

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