Disclosure of criminal convictions - employers

Positive Multi Ethnic Business Team Standing In Front Of The CameraIf you are an employer or part of the managing body of a company, you can ask about criminal convictions in order to decide whether to hire someone. In general, former offenders are legally obligated to disclose only “unspent” convictions. The convictions are “unspent” when the rehabilitation period has not yet finished. The rehabilitation period starts from the point of the conviction and depends on the sentence that was given by the court (see table below) and the age of the convicted person. You, as an employer, have the right to consider and even terminate employment on the basis of undisclosed “unspent” convictions that you did ask about. 

If the offender eceived custodial sentence:

 Type of sentence

Buffer period for adults from end of the sentence (including license period)

Buffer period for young people, aged 18 at the point of conviction, from end of the sentence (including license period)

Community order/Youth rehabilitation order

1 year

6 months

Imprisonment or detention for less up to 6 months

2 years

18 months

Imprisonment or detention for more than 6 and up to 30 months

4 years

2 years (24 months)

Imprisonment or detention for more than 30 and up to 48 months

7 years

3½ years (42 months)

Imprisonment or detention for more than 48 months or a public protection sentence

Never ‘spent’

Never ‘spent’

If the offender received a non-custodial sentence:

Type of sentence

Rehabilitation periods for adults

Rehabilitation periods for young people

Simple/Youth caution

Immediately ‘spent’

Immediately ‘spent’

Conditional (Youth) caution

3 months or when caution stops having effect if earlier

3 months or when caution stops having effect if earlier

Absolute discharge

No rehabilitation period

No rehabilitation period

Bind over

At the end of the order

At the end of the order

Conditional discharge

At the end of the order

At the end of the order

Fine

1 year

6 months

Compensation order

When paid in full

When paid in full

Attendance centre order

At the end of the order

At the end of the order

Care order

At the end of the order

At the end of the order

Confiscation order

When order ceases to have effect

When the order ceases to have effect

Forfeiture order

When order ceases to have effect

When the order ceases to have effect

Hospital order

At the end of the order

At the end of the order

Referral order

At the end of the order

At the end of the order

Relevant order

At the end of the order

At the end of the order

Reparation order

No rehabilitation period

No rehabilitation period

Disqualifications

When the order ceases to have effect

When the order ceases to have effect

Endorsement imposed by the Court

5 years

2½ years

 

Once the rehabilitation period has finished, the conviction becomes “spent”. This means that the former offender is considered rehabilitated in the society. They are not legally obliged to disclose spent convictions, even if asked and you are not allowed to use “spent” convictions as a reason not to hire a prospective worker. Furthermore, if you terminate the employment of a worker who has worked for you for at least two years, you might be liable for unfair dismissal.

But, offenders have to disclose all convictions, whether spent or unspent, for jobs that are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, as detailed below.

Care of children or vulnerable adults, social work and healthcare

Legal professions and law enforcement

Other

Any work with children, including monitoring communications for child protection and work where normal duties involve caring, training or supervising under-18s serving in the armed forces

Applying to enter any regulated legal profession, such as barrister, solicitor, chartered legal executive, foreign lawyer and CILEX-approved manager, as well as being appointed as a judge and any work in the Crown Prosecution Service

Football stewards and supervisors or managers of football stewards

Any employment in a children’s home, residential family centre, adoption or foster home or any work regularly have access to sensitive personal information or contact with children, including working in further education academies or applying for a licence to allow children to travel abroad to perform or be exhibited for profit.

Any court position that has regular access to personal information or face to face contact with access to the lodgings of Supreme Court judges in the course of their employment -this includes any contractors who have unsupervised access to court house offices or other court accommodation as well as any persons in position in the administration of the management of the fund of any court

Entering the actuary profession

Registering or working in a child-minder agency

Officers or contractors who attend either the Royal Court of Justice or the Central Criminal Court

Entering the chartered or certified accountancy professions

Any work involving regular contact with vulnerable adults or access to sensitive personal information

Court officers who carry out court warrants. Any person who carries out high court orders or warrants (for example: police officers with permits to search premises). Any person who executes seizure orders and clamping orders

Anyone working in a prison,remand removal centre, short term holding facility, detention centre, or custodial or non-custodial young offenders institution as well as members of boards of visitors and traffic wardens

 

Regulated immigration adviser or anyone acting on their behalf or under their supervision

Any authorised individual who serves the courts under the Magistrates Court Act 1980 (for example: police officers, sheriffs and their subordinates).

Anyone allowed to exercise control over authorised payment institutions in the course of their employment

The Commissioner of Older People (in Wales), his deputy or anyone acting on their behalf.

Any person who works in premises approved for custody under the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 (for example: probation hostels)

Anyone working in financial services

Any person who takes an executive or managing position of approved alternative legal services body licensed under the Legal Services Act 2007.

People hired to help police constables, such as police community safety officers.

Any employee for the RSPCA who carries out humane killing of animals

Entering the healthcare profession

Probation officers or anyone providing probation services

 

Anyone working for HM Revenue and Customs as well as the position of the director and any office of Revenue and Customs Prosecutions

Any worker having access to people receive healthcare services in course of their normal duties and responsibilities

 

Anyone seeking to carry, acquire or transfer prohibited weapons or ammunition under Firearms Act 1968

Entering the veterinary surgeon profession

 

Maritime armed guards

 

 

For the award of public services contracts, public supply contract, public work contracts

 

 

Any person who works for the purpose of national security. This includes the law enforcement, armed forces as well as the national security services like MI5 and MI6.

 

 

Anyone applying for membership of the Master Locksmith Association

 

 

Commissioners for the Gambling Commission and anyone working for them

 

 

Police and Crime Commissioners

 

 

Taxi drivers and personal hire

 

 

Anyone applying for a National Lottery licence

 

 

Anyone applying for a private security licence

If you are offering a job that is exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, you can request a criminal record check from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS):

  • a basic check will reveal any “spent” and “unspent” convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings
  • an enhanced check will reveal any other relevant information held by the police that might be considered important with regards to the job you are offering
  • an enhanced with list checks also informs you if the prospective employee have been added to any barred lists and so deemed unsuitable to do a specific type of job<

There are a number of charities that provide information and seek to connect offenders and ex-offenders with employers in order to help both to benefit from one another. Such organisations are National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (NACRO) and Unlock.

Content on Access Solicitor is not legal advice, and is made available subject to our terms of use. If you need more details on your rights or legal advice try using the Access Solicitor search to find the best lawyer for you.




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