More employers remove questions about criminal records from application forms

In 2018 research by Unlock found that 70% of well-known national employers asked about criminal records on application. Three years on, with increased understanding of data protection, the GDPR and inclusive recruitment, we reviewed those employers to see what, if anything had changed. Key findings in 2018 The 2018 findings were disappointing, though perhaps not […]

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Filtering rules have changed – are you asking the right question?

Asking the right question If you carry out standard or enhanced DBS checks you’ll know that the rules on what can be filtered have recently changed. Filtering is the process by which some cautions and convictions are removed – ‘filtered’ – from DBS certificates, according to rules set by Parliament. Reprimands, final warnings and youth cautions are now immediately filtered. […]

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Updated: DBS filtering rules have changed

If you recruit for jobs that are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act you will be familiar with filtering. Since May 2013, some cautions and convictions are automatically ‘filtered’ from standard and enhanced DBS certificates and job applicants are legally entitled to withhold filtered cautions and convictions from employers. The existing rules apply to […]

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Unlock asks HM Treasury to make employment for people with convictions a priority

Unlock have written to HM Treasury to suggest financial incentives and ban the box are included in the upcoming Comprehensive Spending Review. A Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) is the process of setting spending priorities and defining improvements the public can expect over the next few years. The CSR 2020 will set out the government’s spending […]

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New report highlights potentially hundreds of unlawful criminal record checks by employers each year and the lack of action by government in preventing them

Unlock, a national advocacy charity for people with criminal records, has today published Checked out?, a report on so-called ‘ineligible’ criminal record checks, submitted by employers and processed by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 allows some criminal records to become spent after a crime-free period. This means they […]

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Financial incentives to encourage hiring people with convictions

As we face an uncertain future we need all hands on deck to rebuild the economy. Unlock is calling on government to pilot financial incentives for employers who proactively recruit people with convictions. Many businesses are fearful of hiring people with a criminal record. Long-standing – but inaccurate – beliefs about reliability and risk mean […]

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Recruiting with conviction at a time of national crisis

As the coronavirus spreads in the UK and government advice means millions of people are staying home to stay safe, there is an urgent need for people to help with key roles. The NHS are looking for 250,000 volunteers, while social care providers, supermarkets and other essential services are boosting their workforce. We’ve been contacted […]

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Unlock’s submission to the ICO’s call for views on processing criminal records data

The ICO is carrying out a survey to find out if organisations processing Article 10 data understand the data protection requirements for processing this information. Unlock have submitted a response based on our experience of working with employers, universities, housing providers and others. You can view our submission by clicking on the image below. The […]

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Do you collect criminal records information?

If you process this information for any reason, the Information Commissioner’s Office would like to hear from you. Employers, universities, insurers, membership organisations and others process criminal records information otherwise known as Article 10 data – for a variety of reasons. The sensitive nature of this data means there are particular safeguards in place to […]

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Case study – Voluntary organisations should ensure that questions about criminal records on application forms are clear

Our helpline was recently contacted by an individual who was concerned about the statement and question being asked on a charity’s volunteer application form about criminal records. Their policy stated: Recruitment of ex-offenders – Because of the type of volunteering role, involving contact with vulnerable people, you are required by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act […]

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