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, and they want to hear from public, private and voluntary sector employers about:

Recruitment practices

  1. What is your company doing – if anything – to promote fair recruitment for people with a criminal record?
  2. Does your company impose restrictions and/or bans on the hiring of ex-offenders for some or all jobs – and if so, why?
  3. If your company is not already a Ban the Box employer, is there any support or incentives that might persuade you to sign up?
  4. Do proactively hire people with a criminal conviction? What drives that practice and what impact has it had on your business?

Employability initiatives

  1. Does your company run any employability initiatives to support recruitment of people with criminal records?
  2. Are you engaged with other organisations that offer advice or support to your business? Would you like to be?

Evidence and impact

  1. What impact has employing people with convictions had on your business?
  2. Does your company avoid or restrict employment of people with criminal records because they fear negative impacts, to the business, staff or reputation?


Christopher Stacey, co-director of Unlock said:

“We’re very pleased to see the Cabinet Office launch this call for evidence, and we’re keen to raise awareness of it so that it reaches as many employers as possible. We’d really like to to encourage responses from businesses that perhaps have less positive approaches approaches to applicants with a criminal record, so that the government understand what some of the barriers are for employers. Alongside a number of positive examples of where employers do this well, we know that there are widespread negative attitudes towards applicants with a criminal record, and we’ll be making sure that these are reflected in our response so that we can encourage the government to do more to help change this.”


As well as employers, the Cabinet Office want to hear from organisations or professionals who:

  • work with people with convictions through the provision of skills training, outreach, mentoring, work placements.
  • work with people with convictions to help them find employment?
  • work with or advise other organisations on creating fair recruitment practices and supporting people with convictions in the labour market
  • campaign to reduce the stigma associated with having, or hiring someone with, a criminal conviction

How to get involved

Read the full call for evidence here and complete and return your response to by 5pm on Friday 31 August 2018.

Unlock will be responding directly to the consultation too, so alongside making a response from your own organisation, please do send us information that can help inform our response. You can email







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