Fair admissions: why speaking to applicants matters

Since 2018 when UCAS removed questions about criminal records from their application, universities have had to make their own decisions about whether to ask for most courses. For courses leading to regulated professions, UCAS continue to ask. Universities collect further information about spent and unspent criminal records and conduct their own assessments – often called […]

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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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Why using a “sample policy on recruiting ex-offenders” is bad for business

“How do you deal with applicants with a criminal record?” That’s a common question we ask of employers. The answer varies; sometimes, they’re quite proactive; other times, they don’t really know. Often, we’re pointed to their ‘policy’. Great, you might think. Unfortunately, a significant proportion of employers with a policy in place have simply copied […]

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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 publish toolkit to help local authorities ban the box

Delivering everything from social care, housing and planning and waste collection, to licensing, registrar services and pest control, local authorities need to recruit for vast and varied needs. With 343 local authorities in England and 22 in Wales the sector provides employment for more than 2 million people. Every employer wants to recruit the best […]

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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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