Tax breaks for employing people with convictions?

Yesterday a report was published by the Work and Pensions Committee calling on government to drastically improve the support provided to people released from prison and to do more to encourage employers to recruit people with convictions.

The Committee encouraged employers to change their recruitment process and made a number of recommendations to both government and companies, including:

  • Extending Ban the Box to all public bodies, with exclusions for the minority of roles where it would not be appropriate for security reasons
  • Piloting the reduction of National Insurance contributions for those employers who actively employ people with convictions
  • Consider making banning the box a statutory requirement for all employers and develop practical guidance to help employers recruit people with a criminal record
  • All prisons should be required to demonstrate strong links with employers, including local businesses
  • Government clearly state who has ultimate responsibility for helping prison leavers into work
  • All Jobcentres should have a specified person who specialises in helping ex-offenders into employment with expertise on matters such as disclosure of convictions
  • Recognising employers that actively employ people with convictions by factoring it into procurement and commissioning decisions

As we’ve reported previously, the Ministry of Justice are working on an employment strategy and we hope to see them take forward some of these proposals.

What do you think? We’re keen to hear from employers about these proposals and how you think they should work. Email your thoughts to recruit@unlock.org.uk.

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Christopher Stacey