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.

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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Lecturer post in a university not eligible for an enhanced DBS check

We’ve recently worked on a case where a university had stated in a job description for a Lecturer in Criminology that: “The successful applicant will have to undergo a DBS check before an appointment can be made.” Although the job description didn’t specify what level of check, the university confirmed that they would be carrying […]

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Recruiting apprentices in the motoring industry? Make sure you ask the right questions

We’ve recently been advising a large motor manufacturer who was asking a misleading question on their online apprenticeship application form. It stated: “Have you any convictions, including both spent and unspent convictions under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974? If yes, please provide details.” We believed that the apprenticeship role being offered would be […]

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Doing enhanced DBS checks? Make sure you get any questions about criminal records right

We were contacted by an individual who was concerned that a question on an employer’s application form in respect of a job requiring an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service checks was misleading as it did not provide any guidance around ‘protected’ cautions and convictions. The question on the application form stated: “Criminal Convictions (see guidance […]

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