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ANZ 'respectfully declines' Human Rights Commissioner's request

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HC Online | 29 Jun 2015, 09:49 AM Agree 0
The big-name bank caused controversy after refusing the Human Rights Commission’s recommended remedy for the ‘hurt and suffering’ it caused a job candidate, who failed to disclose an armed robbery conviction.
  • Jenny | 29 Jun 2015, 11:36 AM Agree 0
    How much tax payer money was wasted on that? Surely it's a no-brainer that a former armed robber get a job in a bank.
    • Digger | 29 Jun 2015, 02:02 PM Agree 0
      We should just not employ anyone with a criminal record. Or anyone who drinks and drives. Or anyone who demonstrated against the war in Iraq. It's a no brainer. These people are not who we want in banks.

      Really? The no brainer is that we have a selection process that allows someone to be interviewed because of their skills and talents. That they wouldn't get that opportunity if they disclosed a 1978 conviction is a major hr problem. That the stupid hr couldn't work through that issue. That is the no brainer. Has he continued on his nefarious ways? No, then move along.

      I personally don't think he should get the job because he lied. That's the reason for not getting the job. He should have disclosed, then sued their sorry arse when they chose to exclude him on non work related grounds.

      I don't think it needs an apology. The bank needs to review its hr policy on recruitment and see how they can join the 21 st century. People make mistakes. They deserve second chances . He may even be an asset, you know, someone who wants to work there and has skills they need???.....
  • HR Dude | 29 Jun 2015, 01:02 PM Agree 0
    This is interesting.

    If we accept that the law is designed to reform / punish someone for doing wrong, then inherent in that is the right not to be further punished without reason. The issue then is that someone can be denied work based on this previous conduct, despite having 'served the time' as it were. I tend to agree that it shouldn't be an automatic ruling against the person.

    If someone held up a service station 15 years ago when he/she was 18, got a suspended sentence and a community order, then went to university and held a good job and raised a family... then how can we say straight away that the employer should deny employment? This is different to someone who say, had several fraud charges over the last 10 years.

    Now, I still think termination of the contract is warranted in this circumstance because he lied to the bank. If he had disclosed the conviction, then it would have been on the bank to make the judgement in a proper and due process. This was not the case, and he (even before starting) broke the trust with the employer.
  • HR Dude | 29 Jun 2015, 04:16 PM Agree 0
    To add to this, most criminal record checks only go back 10 years. It is (IMO) probable that he thought it wouldn't come up in the check they completed. In that case, he lied because he believed he could get away with it and has probably (again IMO) done it before.
  • gbc | 29 Jun 2015, 10:29 PM Agree 0
    He did not disclose his record, regardless of what, when, where it occured, telling lies is not a good way to start a job. Bad luck chum your out, full stop. Human rights, butt out.
  • Clem Wright | 29 Jun 2015, 10:45 PM Agree 0
    There are two issues here which support the bank's decision to rescind the job offer. Firstly, the applicant lied in a particularly important application document - the one used to short list people for interview. This is a breach of trust with a potential employer and probably also breaches the bank's code of conduct. Secondly, if the applicant had applied for a job with an engineering firm, or warehouse supervisor, or truck driver, the armed robbery conviction may not have been so significant. But applying for a job in a bank - I ask you !
    • Digger | 30 Jun 2015, 12:21 PM Agree 0
      I think he lied after the offer had been made? It's hard to pin this down, but the stories I've read say they withdrew the offer. I doubt that he would have got the interview if he'd said he had the conviction. Of interest is the fact he was 21 and yet only served a short time ( how serious was the offence? And " armed robbery " is a catch all phrase for everything from shooting up a bank to having a pocket knife at the scene, to driving the getaway car, remember. ) and he has presumably been working since then 35 years and is not a problem now. Anz seem to think they can assess his ability to meld with their values because of what he did 35 years ago. I would suggest that's not correct. They will have a better option of assessing that through effective interviews, reference checks and skills assessments. How many values did you hold 35 years ago that now you reject?
      I said I don't think he should get it coz he lied. I also think anz are very poor in their response. It's all jibber jabber. Hr should be able to work through these issues in a meaningful and reasonable manner.
      With regard to the confusion over job selection.... Why is it different to have an armed robber work at a engineering firm?.? Firstly, if he's dangerous, he's dangerous to everyone surely. If he's not dangerous, then the point of "armed" is spurious. . Secondly, it's an IT job inside the bank, he's applied for, so he doesn't need to be armed with anything other than a computer. White collar criminals are the worst.

  • Steve | 30 Jun 2015, 08:30 AM Agree 0
    I understand that the candidate lied on the application, however I understand their reasons for doing so. If he had disclosed his criminal record in the initial stages his application would have discarded early on in the recruitment process. By not disclosing it he ensured he was given the oppurtunity to interview and to prove his ability to perform the role. ANZ could then use this information to weigh up the decision to employ him with a criminal record. If you assess candidate's criminal history to early you are not ensuring you have enough information to make an informed decision and may be missing out on a great candidate.
  • TT | 30 Jun 2015, 10:22 AM Agree 0
    This is a tough one - by all accounts he hasn't offended again, however an armed robbery is a big crime to commit. People 'fall in to the wrong crowd' and experiment with drink and drugs, they don't generally commit an armed robbery. I think the big issue here is that he lied in his application; it wouldn't have mattered what crime he was trying to cover up (I think that part is a little irrelevant), it is the fact he didn't disclose it, which goes against some of the core value propositions of the ANZ. I have no doubt that this man is rehabilitated and would have been a great asset to the bank, but the fact remains, he committed a crime and didn't disclose it.
  • Jenny | 01 Jul 2015, 12:42 PM Agree 0
    Where a criminal offence is relevant to the role being applied for, it must be considered by an prospective employer.
    In this case we are talking about a role that requires trust and honesty in dealings with colleagues and customers, that role can not be given to someone who is dishonest and deliberately withholds their criminal convictions, no matter how old. It's relevant to the inherent requirements of the role being applied for. A different conviction eg. possession of a small quantity of marijuana in 1978 may not be relevant to the same role.
  • Pat of Brisbane | 03 Jul 2015, 11:24 AM Agree 0
    Interesting discussion but I think one of the key areas being overlooked is the message that it sends to other bank staff that an "armed robbery" of whatever description is trivial enough that one day the person who leapt over the counter, or threatened an employee with injury or death, or brandished a gun at one of the staff would be ok to work among those same people whom he or she put at risk... Imagine for a moment a staff member "popping along to IT" for assistance on some matter suddenly facing the person who thrust a sawn-off shot gun in their face?
  • Rose D-H | 06 Jul 2015, 02:35 PM Agree 0
    There are two key issues here.

    The first and foremost - he omitted to tell them about his previous conviction which lets be honest is inappropriate for a bank employee. The alleged nature of the crime (I don't know the details but understand it was violent) and the impact that armed robberies have on the staff is traumatic and ongoing. I am an ex Banker myself and had to deal with post robbery reactions in our staff. The language and threats used to gain immediate control of the branch environment during a robbery is appalling but effective as it scares everyone within that environment into immobility. Unfortunately I have seen many good operators retire after being confronted by this behaviour.

    Secondly, ANZ has every right to say No - you robbed a bank mate! Sorry, but we do not either trust you or have confidence in your honesty ... as demonstrated by point one.

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