Christopher Stacey

About Christopher Stacey

Christopher manages and develops this website. He is a co-director of Unlock and leads the charity's work to support employers in the fair treatment of people with criminal records. Find out more about Christopher.

Leading charity requesting an ineligible criminal record check for an administrative role

Following an enquiry to our helpline, we became aware that a leading charity were requesting an enhanced DBS check for an office administrator’s role. From the information provided, we were of the opinion that the role would be covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act and would only require a basic DBS check. Therefore, by […]

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The role of the Information Commissioners Office with misleading questions on employment application forms

We were contacted recently by an individual who was concerned about a question being asked about criminal records on a builder’s merchant’s application form, which stated: “As part of our standard procedure we require a police check for every employee. Are you prepared to undergo a police check? ☐ Yes ☐ No  Have you ever […]

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Global manufacturer asking misleading questions on their employment application form

We were contacted recently by an individual who had some concerns about the questions that a global manufacturing company were asking about criminal records on their employment application form. The form stated: “Have you ever been convicted of a criminal offence? (Including motor offences but excluding parking fines) Have you ever received a formal police […]

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Bristol City Council becomes first local authority to Ban the Box

We’re delighted that Bristol City Council has today become the first local authority to sign up to Ban the Box. Ban the Box calls on UK employers to create a fair opportunity for people with convictions to compete for jobs by removing the tick box from application forms and asking about criminal convictions later in the […]

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The answer to Oxfam’s safeguarding problems is not enhanced DBS checks

Christopher Stacey, co-director of Unlock, has written a blog for the Huffington Post questioning the use of enhanced DBS checks as the answer to Oxfam’s safeguarding problems. The blog is particularly important for organisations that use volunteers in their work, and is copied below. The original blog is available here.    Of all the things in […]

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Charities must act now to prepare for changes to the rules on criminal records

Almost anyone can run a charity, but there are rules that mean some people with a criminal record are prevented from being able to unless they have clearance from the Charity Commission. With the rules changing this year, it’s important to get to grips with what they mean. There are over 11 million people in […]

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Basic criminal record checks launched today by the DBS

From today, the 17th January 2018, basic criminal record checks can now be obtained directly from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) This is a significant development for both people with criminal records and employers in England & Wales. Basic checks are a type of criminal record check that can be used by employers and […]

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Changes to the recruitment process of a cleaning company whose application form was unclear about spent convictions

We were recently pointed towards a large cleaning company that had a question on its application form for a job cleaning commercial offices which stated: “Criminal Record  o Yes      o No” The question didn’t make it clear that an applicant doesn’t need to disclose any spent convictions when applying for a role covered by the […]

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A recruitment agency with a blanket ban on placing people with unspent convictions

We’ve recently been contacted by an individual who wanted some advice following dismissal from his job because he didn’t disclose his unspent criminal record. The individual explained that on release from prison, over 15 years ago, he’d been told by his probation officer that his conviction would become ‘spent’ (under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act […]

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