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Beaut Event, Aotal

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Kudos to Aotal for hosting a top notch HR community event last week, benefitting CureKids.

There were plenty of highly engaged HR people talking to a wide range of vendors, from established players like SilkRoad to early stage startups like CheckMate.

As the first company to provide truly paperless Criminal Record checks in New Zealand, we had a great opportunity to preview another of our firsts: branded checks.

Branded checks take the candidate pre-employment experience to the next level. Employers are increasingly trying to smooth out this gnarliest of parts of the recruiting process.

Getting real feedback from real customers - that's a privilege at any event!

My personal highlight of the event - corporate anthropologist Michael Henderson's insightful graphs.

3 legal traps for NZ employers dealing with criminal record checks

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When it comes to candidate criminal record checks, you're dealing with the ultimate in sensitive personal data, so your recruitment process has to be squeaky clean. Here are 3 areas to watch out for.
1. If you're hiring people conditionally, keep all of your paperwork straight - not just your application form In 2013, Fonterra was forced to pay $18,000 compensation to Jason Richardson, a driver who was sacked after he failed to disclose his traffic and criminal convictions on Fonterra's job application form.

Fonterra's application form at the time was crystal clear regarding convictions.

It asked applicants to disclose any criminal or driving convictions. It also dealt with cases where background check results were not confirmed until after employment had started, by stating that misleading or false information could be grounds for dismissal without notice.

However when applying, Richardson mistakenly assumed that his previous convictions fell under the Clean Slate Ac…

We're live! CheckPlease - dashboard and API for Ministry of Justice Criminal Record checks

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We're live! The first online dashboard and API for Ministry of Justice Criminal Record checks is online at https://checkplease.co.nz.

Please give us a ring at 64-9-9730990 or email at info@checkplease.co.nz if we can help you smooth the process of Criminal Record checks at your organisation.

For our existing customers - thank you more than we can say for your help in evolving our platform to meet your needs. When you sign into the new platform using the same email, you will see your dashboard.

We've rolled out three plans - Business, Credit and Member.

Business and Credit plans

CheckPlease delivers full service criminal record checks to you at $39, $49 or $59 for 3, 10 or 15 working day turnaround, with volume discounts for heavy users.

You just enter the candidate's name and email address and we do the rest.

Contact us for a credit account, for monthly invoicing.

Member plan

If you are a member of the Ministry of Justice's CCH online service (its easy to join and takes…

Can I get someone else's criminal convictions history without their knowledge?

In short, no.

If you want to find out about someone’s criminal record, one way is to use the Check Please service, which automates the process and can give you the result in as little as 3 working days.

However while Check Please automates the process (and allows for requests to be processed much faster than the manual process provided by the Ministry of Justice), it still relies on the Individual's consent.

As such, apart from some fringe situations under the Official Information Act (OIA), you cannot obtain someone else's criminal convictions history (criminal record) without their knowledge and consent.

Another exception is a new scheme that has been introduced by the Police specifically for people to find out if their partner or a family member's partner has a history of violence. The aim is to enable a partner of a previously violent individual to make informed choices about whether and how they continue the relationship.

Further information about the scheme, includin…

The complete history of New Zealand's Clean Slate Act

The Ministry of Justice's Criminal Records Unit processes about 450,000 requests a year from New Zealanders wanting to see their records, often to provide them to a potential employer.

New Zealand's Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Act 2004 was designed to allow people with less serious offenses and who have not re-offended within seven years to put the past behind them.

Rather than simply being "soft on crime" as some opponents claimed at the time the Act was passed, the seven-year qualifying period was based on statistical evidence that showed people with minor convictions who had not re-offended after seven years were no more likely to re-offend than those without convictions.

No one doubted that the Act would have a significant impact in concealing past convictions, and it did.

Information released by the Ministry of Justice showed that 115,508 people who requested a copy of their criminal history between November 2004 and June 2014 were told they "have none&q…