Support for employers

We offer a range of support to employers looking to recruit people with convictions and deal with criminal records fairly. This can include individual support for senior leaders, advice to HR teams and on-going partnership work. This is part of a project funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

Why is this important?

  • Over 250,000 criminal record checks each year in England & Wales disclose criminal record information.
  • People with criminal records are an untapped talent pool that can help your business get the skills and experiences that you’re struggling to find.
  • Criminal records can be confusing and hard to interpret.
  • Legislation can change, and it’s hard to keep up as an employer.
  • There are lots of myths when it comes to dealing with people who have criminal records.
  • In some circumstances refusing somebody a role or position because of their criminal record is a criminal offence and could result in legal action.

What can we offer?

We support employers in dealing with questions such as:

  1. Should we ask about criminal records and, if so, when and how?
  2. What are the legal issues and the costs if we get it wrong?
  3. How do we make sure we don’t exclude good candidates because they have a conviction?
  4. How do we decide whether we should employ somebody who has a criminal record?

We can provide:

  1. Support employers to develop fairer and more inclusive ‘whole-organisation’ policies and practices.
  2. Act as a critical friend, helping employers assess the impact of different policies and approaches on their recruitment process, new applicants and their existing workforce.
  3. Provide bespoke support in developing policies and practices that reflect a fair approach to people with a criminal record
  4. Link you into established employer networks and share research and good practice.

The answers to many common questions are answered in the practical guidance on this site.

We also provide independent and impartial training and support to recruiters, employers, and regulators. Read more about our training.

Our aim is to help you to make sure that your policies and practices are properly structured so that you’re able to recruit the right person for the right role, in a way that doesn’t unnecessarily exclude people because of their criminal record.

Get in touch

If you’re looking for support in employing people with convictions and dealing with criminal records fairly, please get in touch. You can email

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