We showcase positive case studies of employers who are recruiting people with convictions and dealing with criminal records fairly to help encourage, motivate and inspire other employers to follow in their footsteps.
A question of fairness – following up on our research
In 2018, Unlock published our report A Question of Fairness, showing how three quarters of national employers continue to ask about criminal records on application forms. We have contacted each of those employers to understand why they think it is necessary to ask and we’ll be posting updates here.
There are lots of employers that have good elements to their recruitment practice. We highlight these by posting examples of good practice. The examples below have been brought together under relevant headings.
We think all employers could benefit from banning the box but where companies continue to ask at application, the questions they ask should be clear. Examples include:
We think it’s important to recognise that many employers are still falling short when it comes to recruiting people with convictions and dealing with criminal records fairly. That’s why we post examples of bad practice so that other employers can see where they might be going wrong and how they can improve.
The examples we post are mainly those that we’ve written up anonymously. These are where we’ve identified poor practice and worked with the employer to change and improve the way they operate, so we think it’s right to remove their details. Nevertheless, we’re not against naming and shaming employers who continue to operate unfair recruitment practices after we’ve tried to work positively with them.
Separate to the call for companies to ban the box, some companies that ask at application also ask unclear and sometimes misleading questions. We post these case studies with the tag wording and examples include:
- Poor application form for a job at a waste disposal company
- Unclear statements for supermarket roles
- Poor application form for a job in social care at a local authority
- Application to become a teacher not being clear that filtered convictions don’t need to be disclosed
- Confusion over filtering legislation and DBS checks for accountants
- Misleading question for a volunteer role
- NHS trusts and the need to include references to filtering
- Recruiting apprentices in the motoring industry? Make sure you ask the right questions
- Doing enhanced DBS checks? Make sure you get any questions about criminal records right
- The role of the Information Commissioners Office with misleading questions on employment application forms
- Global manufacturer asking misleading questions on their employment application form
We post these case studies under the tag assessing and examples include:
- Blanket exclusions for sexual offences
- Is a ‘clean DBS’ essential?
- Zero-tolerance approach to DBS checks?
- A recruitment agency with a blanket ban on placing people with unspent convictions
We post these case studies under the tag ineligible and examples include:
- Kent and East Sussex council checks ‘unjustified’
- Ineligible DBS check for working in a warehouse
- Universities, teaching fellows and enhanced criminal record checks
- Fundraising jobs – what level of check is involved?
- Office administrators and enhanced checks
- National trades directory stops asking for police records
- Ineligible DBS checks for film/television extras
- Employer does a standard check for an unregulated financial role
- Ineligible check for HGV driver role
- A company that did blanket checks on all their employees
- Providing training courses to apprentices doesn’t make all employees eligible for DBS checks
- University doing ineligible checks for lecturing posts
- Lecturer post in a university not eligible for an enhanced DBS check
- Leading charity requesting an ineligible criminal record check for an administrative role
We post these case studies under the tag ignoring filtered and examples include: