Disclosure of criminal convictions - offenders

Symbol Of Law And JusticeIf you have been convicted of a criminal offence, one of the consequences is that you may have to disclose it, if asked, when applying for jobs or voluntary work. You may also have to disclose either any convictions you have, or those of anyone living with you, when applying for certain types of financial products such as insurance or mortgages.

In general, you only have to disclose convictions that are “unspent”. This is where the rehabilitation period has not yet finished. The rehabilitation period starts from the point of conviction and depends on the sentence that was given by the court (see table below). An employer is allowed to terminate your employment if you do not disclose unspent convictions when asked. Not declaring unspent convictions on an application for insurance may lead to your policy being invalidated.

If you received a 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 you 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

When the rehabilitation period has finished, the conviction becomes “spent”. This means you do not have to disclose it and it cannot be used as a reason not to hire you for a job. If you have worked for an employer for at least two years and you think your employment is terminated because of a spent conviction, you may have a claim for unfair dismissal.

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

When the rehabilitation period has finished, the conviction becomes “spent”. This means you do not have to disclose it and it cannot be used as a reason not to hire you for a job. If you have worked for an employer for at least two years and you think your employment is terminated because of a spent conviction, you may have a claim for unfair dismissal.

But you 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 your job is exempt from the Rehabilitation Offenders Act 1974, your employer 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 have applied for
  • an enhanced with list checks also informs the employer if you 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 advice to offenders and ex-offenders on disclosure of convictions, such as National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (NACRO) and Unlock

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