Employers in New South Wales may soon be able to do background checks on job applicants to see if they were bullies at school, in a move to stamp out bullying.

Under BullyCheck, which has the support of the state government, job applicants aged 17 to 22 could be asked for consent to allow their high school to be contacted, and may not be hired if they fail the character test, the Daily Telegraph reports.

ClubsNSW, who oversee organisations such as community groups, Returned and Services Leagues, and sports clubs in the state, has launched the scheme today, with 12 employers trialling the anti-bullying measures and plans to roll it out to its 1400 clubs next year.

Other major employers may also adopt the scheme after the trial, the Telegraph reported.


ClubsNSW chief executive Anthony Ball told the paper clubs will be going into schools with the message that the consequences of bullying continue once they leave school.

"The message is simple - if you bully then you are risking your own career prospects," Mr Ball said. "Until now, anti-bullying programs have focused on the effect on the victim. Considering bullies show a complete lack of concern for their victim, we will have a greater impact by forcing bullies to think about the effect their bullying will have on them.

Information provided to the employers by the schools would be confidential, and applicants would not be informed as to why they had been rejected.