Photo: eliduke via flickr
Here’s another reason to make amends with anyone who knew about your childhood bullying behaviour: It might affect your career.Or it will if you’re living in Australia.
Aside form every other reference check that’s already required when you’re applying for a job, the program BULLYcheck requires all branches of ClubsNSW — which includes thousands of businesses in Australia — to contact applicants’ high schools to make sure they didn’t make someone’s life a nightmare during those four years.
Applicants will be asked to give their consent during the application process and a verbal reference from their school will be required. The program only affects those who are 22-years-old or younger.
“If students have engaged in serious cases of bullying, cyber stalking or threatening behaviour, then clubs will not hesitate to reject their job application. If you bully or threaten other students then you are risking your own career prospects,” ClubsNSW CEO Anthony Ball told Michelle Sammut at Dynamic Business.
“Starting a program similar to BULLYcheck in a specific area is very important, there is limited effectiveness to one business in on place having this program, a number of businesses using the reference check program will enlarge the net to which people may be applying.”
According to Sammut, workplace bullying costs businesses up to $36 billion annually, and $20,000 per employee for serious bullying.
Secondary Principals’ Council president Chris Cawsey told Sydney’s local newspaper the Manly Daily that the council was in favour of the new initiative because they want to make a “stand about the kind of people they wanted working for them.”
“Research has shown children who are locked into aggressive behaviour become isolated and at risk as adults,” Cawsey said.
But not everyone is a supporter of the program.
Suzanne Lucas at CBSNews asked in her article “What good purpose would [this program] serve?” She wrote:
“Let’s hope that this bad idea doesn’t move north to the U.S. The EEOC wants employers to limit use of actual criminal convictions, so I hope they’d balk at using high school records to prohibit employment at work. Let’s not look at school age bullying either. If a recent reference says the person is a problem, don’t hire. If you hire someone who turns out to be a jerk, fire quickly. But, let’s acknowledge that part of growing up is figuring out appropriate behaviour and not hold teenage mistakes over adult heads.”
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