The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has released a new online process for processing criminal record checks. If you hire employees subject to viewing their criminal record, you’ll need to update your pre-employment checks around the new online system.

LangtonHudsonButcher (LHB), our law partners in New Zealand who ensure every legal template, document and checklist in enableHR is compliant, has shared an update on the new process. Read on to learn what’s new for criminal records checks, including the key takeaways for employers.

What has changed with the new online process?

1. Individuals can now request their own criminal record by:

a. filling out an updated paper form on the Ministry of Justice website; or

b. completing the online application at the criminal records website.

2. Third parties (which includes prospective employers and recruitment agencies):

a. will, from 3 May 2021, only be able to apply for a criminal record check online

b. must, before they apply online, register as a “third party” with the Ministry of Justice; and

c. should consider updating their employee application forms and offer letters to prospective employees.

3. Employers can register as a third party by completing a “Contract for Online Delivery of Criminal Conviction Histories” and other documents on the Ministry of Justice.

These documents must then be emailed to .

Once registered, a third party can apply for an individual’s criminal record at the criminal records website, provided that the third party has obtained:

a. the individual’s authorisation to the criminal record check; and

b. a copy of a valid form of identification for the individual (e.g. passport or driver’s licence).

Key takeaways for employers from this update:

  1. If possible, make an offer of employment conditional on the prospective employee providing a criminal record check before they start work. This may require employee applications forms and offer letters to be updated;
  2. Alternatively, use a recruitment agent as the “third party” to undertake criminal record checks on the employer’s behalf; or
  3. If employers need to apply for criminal record checks themselves, then register as a “third party” as soon as possible, and prior to needing the criminal record check.

The enableHR team are currently updating the criminal record check steps in enableHR’s pre-employment checklist to reflect the latest changes for our clients. We anticipate that this upgrade will be live shortly!

Don’t let changes to employment-related laws slow you down. In enableHR, every process, workflow and document are reviewed by employment law experts. So, you don’t have to worry. Get in touch to see enableHR in action today!

LangtonHudsonButcher is a specialist employment law and litigation firm based in Auckland, New Zealand. If you need any advice on the information provided in this blog let us know and we’ll put you in touch with the LHB team.