Irrelevant Criminal Record

In the ACT it is against the law for someone to discriminate against you because of a characteristic that you have, or that someone thinks you have, in an area of public life such as employment, education, accommodation, provision of goods and services, clubs.

It is against the law for someone to discriminate against you because of your irrelevant criminal record.

An irrelevant criminal record includes a record relating to an offence, or alleged offence, where a person has been charged but where proceedings have not been finalised or the charge has lapsed or been withdrawn. It also includes a record where a person has been acquitted of the alleged offence; or where the person has had the conviction quashed or set aside; or where the person has been served with an infringement notice; or where the person has a conviction, but the circumstances of the offence are not directly relevant to the situation in which discrimination arises; or where the person has a spent conviction.

Example of irrelevant criminal record discrimination.

Hannah applied for a position as a hairdressing apprentice. She was successful and began work at her new salon. In conversation one day Hannah disclosed to her colleague that she had been convicted of negligent driving when she was much younger, after an accident that led to serious injury of a pedestrian. When her employer found out, she terminated Hannah’s employment on the basis that she didn’t consider her to be a trustworthy employee.

Are there any exceptions?

It is not unlawful for a person to be requested to provide their criminal history and non-conviction information when applying to be registered under the Working with Vulnerable People (Background Checking) Act 2011.

Agencies are able to access criminal record information where that is authorised or required by an ACT law, for example, the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (ACT) Act 2010 and the Crimes (Child Sex Offenders) Act 2005.


To find out more or make a complaint.

For more information or to make a complaint about discrimination, vilification, sexual harassment or victimisation you can contact us by:

We can provide information about the complaint process or refer you to someone who can help you further. We provide free interpreting should you need it.