Police warn employers to run a background check before hiring someone

2018-05-23 16:34
PHOTO: Getty Images/Gallo Images

PHOTO: Getty Images/Gallo Images

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Police are warning employers to check potential employees’ backgrounds.

Employers aren’t allowed to check potential employees’ backgrounds without their permission but can make a background check a condition of employment before hiring someone, national police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo says. 

“The applicant needs to take their ID to their nearest police station, where police check their system to see if the person has a criminal record. It takes a few weeks [to get the results],” Naidoo says.

Although many companies require a background check before appointing new employees people generally don’t do background checks when hiring someone privately, says Captain Appel Ernst, spokesman for the Randfontein police station. “Sometimes people are too trusting,” he says. 

An employer can make a background check a condition of employment, he adds. “It costs R114 and takes six to eight weeks to do. You can have it done at any police station in the country.”

The police advisory comes in the wake of the recent kidnapping of 15-month-old Eden Laird, allegedly by his nanny, Cleopatra Manjankhozi, and suspected accomplices Kholwani Nyathi, Amos Moyo, Maduna Nonkanyiso and Nelisini Gabela. The kidnappers demanded a ransom of millions of rands from the boy’s parents. Manjankhozi had worked for the family for two years before Eden was kidnapped.

The Palm Ridge magistrate’s court has postponed the accused’s bail applications until 30 May. The five will remain in custody until then.

In another incident a domestic helper in Rosebank, Johannesburg, was apparently offered money in exchange for her employer’s child. The incident was discussed in a recent meeting at private security company ADT, The Citizen reports Sergeant Bongi Mdletshe as saying.

A domestic helper is a family’s eyes and ears, says Captain Granville Meyer, spokesman for the Sandton police station in Johannesburg. “We suggest all employers do background checks on their employees.”

Read more on:    work  |  work and career

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