Workplace Safety – and Background Checks

Since the average employed South African spends about eight hours per day in a work environment, employers are expected to ensure the safety of all employees during working hours. A background screening process is an essential early means to avoid employing an individual that is potentially dangerous and/or may damage the company’s reputation; Background screening is also considered a best practice in the recruiting process.

This post is the first of two on the background screening process, focussing on the criminal check component, and draws on the article entitled “Ensure workplace safety with criminal checks”, published online by Business Essentials (11 April 2017).

Criminal Checks:

Rudi Kruger, General Manager of Risk Solutions at LexisNexis Data Services, reflects that a criminal check assists an employer in raising red-flags, such as a “candidate’s potential for dangerous behaviour by uncovering their history of illicit activity, past convictions and misdemeanours” before a job offer is made. In addition, criminal checks assist an employer with avoiding other risks, including:

  • Negligent hiring liability (e.g. another employee or customer/s is harmed by employee in question)
  • Company credibility – Protecting the company by identifying unsuitable applicants
  • Identifying dishonest and untrustworthy characters who may have excluded their criminal backgrounds from the application or used fake identity documents.

Verifying the background of candidates is made easier with technology-based solutions like RefCheck Advanced, an online background screening solution from LexisNexis Data Services. RefCheck Advanced includes the AFISwitch Criminal Illicit Activity Check – the only criminal history verification check (electronic fingerprint collection and processing) available to the South African corporate market since the discontinuation of the APS Name Clearance Criminal Check in mid-2011.

In addition to criminal considerations, the verification and validation services of RefCheck Advanced are in respect of:

  • Secondary and Tertiary Qualifications (from registered local and international institutions);
  • Identity and citizenship;
  • Fraud history (via the South African Fraud Prevention Services);
  • Credit history (through detailed TransUnion and Experian credit bureau reports);
  • Local and international employment history and professional association membership;
  • Drivers’ licence status; and
  • Matching of bank account information against an identity number or registration number.

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Access the original article here.