Employers in New Zealand and Australia will be able to request criminal background checks for potential employees from both countries.

Employers in Australia and New Zealand will be able to request the criminal history of potential employees from either country.

Following a successful six-month trial sharing criminal history information between New Zealand and Queensland, a Memorandum of Understanding will be developed to expand the trial to all Australian states, Attorney-General George Brandis and New Zealand Justice Minister Judith Collins announced on Saturday.

New Zealand employers often need criminal history checks from Australia and New Zealand to make fully informed employment decisions, Ms Collins said.

“This is particularly important for positions that involve working with children and vulnerable people to help protect our communities from people who may pose a risk.”

Senator Brandis said there were about 600,000 New Zealanders in Australia and the movement of workers between the countries had grown.

It made sense for employers to have access to the same background information as they do for local workers, he said.

“Facilitating access to criminal background checks will enhance community safety and security.”

Last year, New Zealander Hohepa Morehu-Barlow was sentenced to 14 years’ jail last after defrauding Queensland Health of more than $16 million.

His criminal background was not checked before he took the job.