Recruitment & Employment Confederation becomes Ban the Box employer

The Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) has signed up to the Ban the Box campaign, committing to fair recruitment for people with criminal records. As a result, the REC will not ask questions about criminal records at the application stage of the recruitment process, but will ask the questions at a later stage.

Later this year, the REC will launch a practical guide, which has been developed with charities BITC, Nacro and Unlock, to help agencies with the recruitment of people with criminal records. This will outline steps they can take to ensure their processes are compliant, fair and inclusive.

REC chief executive, Kevin Green, said:   

“Diversity and inclusion in hiring is critical for organisations who want to attract the best talent available. That’s why we want to tackle the issues that people with criminal records face when trying to find a job. The REC is proud to sign up to Ban the Box and we are improving our recruitment processes in line with this.

“The recruitment industry has a key role to play in supporting people with criminal records to get into work, so we’re helping our members put inclusive hiring at the forefront. Recruiters are in a unique position with the power to transform people’s lives, so they need to take steps to ensure their processes are fair and give everyone the chance to succeed.”

Business in the Community campaign director, employment and skills Grace Mehanna, said:

“The people with criminal records we meet tell us how disheartening it is to know that employers see their past mistakes before even looking at their skills and talents. Even small details like taking a tick box off an application form or delaying questions about criminal records until later in the hiring process can make a big difference. The Recruitment & Employment Confederation is leading the sector in a more inclusive approach to recruitment. We’re pleased to support them to improve recruiter and employer practices and give more people a chance to turn their lives around through work.”

Christopher Stacey, co-director of Unlock, the national charity for people with convictions, said:

“Recruitment agencies are an important source of job opportunities for people with a criminal record. That’s why we’ve been working with the Recruitment & Employment Confederation in supporting agencies in taking on people with criminal records. We’re delighted that the REC is practicing what it preaches by signing up to the Ban the Box campaign to promote fair recruitment practice. We are looking forward to continuing to work with them and their members to support fairer and more inclusive practices that help recruitment agencies to make the most of the skills and experiences that people with convictions can bring.”

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Christopher Stacey