Criminal employment background check

criminal employment background checkMany employers want to know if the applicant for a job had any criminal history. For many this is important to make the hiring decision. Can they do the employment criminal background check?

Access to information on previous convictions

In Poland convictions are recorded in the National Crime Register. Access to it is restricted. The employer may obtain information on previous convictions without the applicant’s consent and use it in the hiring process only:

  • when the law requires that the job appplicant not be subject to criminal punishment or deprived of public rights or
  • to check whether the applicant has the right to occupy a particular position, do a particular profession or run a particular business.
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Otherwise the employer may not require the applicant to provide information of his of her previous convictions. Even if the applicant provides it on a voluntary basis, the employer can’t use it for criminal employment background check. This is the result of the GDPR (the General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 in force across the EU). In Article 10 it says that personal data related to criminal convictions and offences may be processed only under the control of official authorities.

An example is an accountant. If you want to hire an accountant, you can check whether they have been convicted for crimes related to documents, money or property. You can do that on your own by applying for information to the National Crime Register. This is because the law requires the accountants to be free of such convictions. If they are not, you may refuse to hire them. If they concealed it, you can fire them. Other examples are teachers or court clerks.

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