Rachel Tynan

About Rachel Tynan

Rachel leads on producing new guidance and content for this website. She is the policy and practice lead at Unlock and leads the charity's work to support employers in the fair treatment of people with criminal records. Find out more about Rachelr.

Using a spent conviction to revoke an employment offer breaches data subject rights

RQT, an IT company based in Wales, required all potential employees to consent to a basic criminal record check being carried out by a DBS Responsible Organisation (RO). As the job was in Wales, the RO should have requested a check from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). Instead the RO wrongly requested a check […]

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Asking for self-disclosure during recruitment – is it necessary?

Asking applicants to self-disclose criminal records information is seen by most employers as part and parcel of the standard recruitment process. Whether it’s a tick box on the application form or part of pre-employment checks, asking has been the norm. The advent of the GDPR means employers need be clear about the purpose of self-disclosure […]

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Should schools ask applicants to self-disclose criminal records?

This post considers when self-disclosure could (and when it probably shouldn’t) play a role in the recruitment process. ‘Self-disclosure’ in this context means individuals providing an employer with details about their criminal record. This is in contrast to official disclosure, which means carrying out criminal record checks using the appropriate government agency – in England […]

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Asking applicants to self-disclose can be deemed excessive, says ICO

Last month we published research that showed almost three-quarters of employers ask about criminal records at application stage. Being asked to self-disclose puts off applicants. Unlock encourages employers to consider whether they need to ask about criminal records at all. If you need to ask, questions should be targeted – for example, only asking at […]

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Changes to the recruitment process of a hospice whose application form was unclear about what needed to be disclosed

We received a call to our helpline about a hospice who were asking a misleading question about criminal records. The hospice has some jobs that involve regulated activity and they are therefore entitled to ask about cautions and spent convictions, and required to carry out an enhanced DBS check. However, the caller was applying for […]

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Cabinet Office call for evidence on employing people with convictions

Does your business recruit people with convictions? Or does your business avoid recruiting anyone with a criminal record? Would support from government make you think again? How about financial incentives – would that encourage you to hire people with a criminal record? The Cabinet Office are calling for evidence on employment for people with convictions, […]

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