Unlock endorses ‘Ban the box’

Unlock has today lent its support and endorsement to the ‘ban the box’ campaign, which is being led by Business in the Community. The aim of the campaign is to increase the opportunity for people with convictions to compete for jobs.

Christopher Stacey, Co-Director at Unlock, said “We believe that that, by banning the box, employers are better able to consider convictions at a more appropriate stage in the recruitment process, and at the same time are able to give people with convictions a better opportunity to compete for jobs. Far too often we hear from people who are unable to get past the application part of a recruitment process simply because they have to tick ‘yes’ to the questions about convictions. For employers, the end goal has to be to try and find the best person for the job, and with over 9 million people in the UK with a criminal record, banning the box about convictions is one simple step towards this goal.”

“Critically, we believe that it’s important for this campaign to be led by the business community itself, and that’s why we are wholeheartedly behind BITC in their efforts to take this campaign forward. Behind the scenes, we are able to provide confidential advice and to employers on how they can best put the principles of this campaign into practice in their company, using our knowledge and experience of working both with individuals who have convictions and employers who are actively looking to improve their recruitment policies and practices.” 

“In so far as our own recruitment process, Unlock has banned the box for both paid and voluntary opportunities. We have a specific policy on the disclosure of convictions, where we explain to applicants that we do not ask about convictions at application stage. We provide individuals who are invited to interview with a self-disclosure form, which we ask them to complete and bring with them to their interview. At the end of the interview, we have a separate discussion where we ask questions about the information they have disclosed on this form, and we make it clear that this will only be considered once we have made a decision about whether they are the right person for the job.” 

More information about Ban the Box from BITC is available from bitc.org.uk/banthebox and #BantheBoxUK

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Christopher Stacey