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Employee must disclose information at interview only if asked

Question

I have recently found new employment. At my job interview, I filled out a job application form that asked me if I had any criminal convictions and, if so, requested me to list what they were for.

I wrote that I had no criminal convictions. This is untrue.

I was convicted of possession of cannabis 11 years ago when I was 19 years old. I am now 30 and am very embarrassed about this conviction. I also understand that criminal convictions are wiped after ten years. Is this true?

What can my employer do if he finds out that I lied in my job application form?

Answer

An employee is not obliged to disclose information in a job application form, or at a job interview, that would harm his or her chances of employment.

However, the right to non-disclosure does not extend to providing false information. Accordingly, unless an employee is specifically asked about his or her criminal convictions, he or she does not have to mention them.

But, if an employee is asked, he or she must answer truthfully.

If the employer later finds out that the employee has misrepresented the true position about him or herself, the employer is entitled to dismiss the employee for misrepresentation.

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