Recruitment & Hiring

Employers launch scheme to deny high school bullies jobs: Four ways to avoid hiring a bully

Engel Schmidl /

Jobseekers will undergo character checks and could be refused employment if they were bullies at school, in a new scheme that has been described as “foolish” by a legal expert.

ClubsNSW is launching the scheme today with a trial involving 12 major employers and plans to next year roll it out to 1,400 clubs employing 43,000 staff across the state.

Under the program known as BULLYcheck, any person aged 22 or younger wanting to work at a registered club will need to consent to a verbal referee check from their high school.

If the school confirms the applicant was involved in high-level cases of bullying or threatening behaviour, the job application will be rejected.

ClubsNSW chief executive Anthony Ball said in a statement released today that ClubsNSW was going into schools with the message that the consequences of bullying will not be erased when people leave high school.

“If students have engaged in serious cases of bullying, cyber stalking or threatening behaviour, then clubs will not hesitate to reject their job application,” Ball said in the statement.

“If a student voluntarily raises their past bully history, but demonstrates remorse and a high level of community service, then their application may be considered on its merits. “

BULLYcheck is supported by the NSW Government, however, Andrew Douglas, partner at M + K lawyers, told SmartCompany the ClubsNSW scheme was “foolish”.

“To say once a bully, always a bully is really foolish and a blunt instrument,” says Douglas.

“It sounds good in theory but does not seem terribly appropriate; what we do as children I would hate to have visited on me.”

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