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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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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HMPPS confirms prison and probation roles are covered by filtering rules

Samantha contacted Unlock’s helpline for advice on applying for a ‘Through the Gate’ role with Sodexo. The job involved helping women prepare for leaving prison and would be subject to prison vetting. Sodexo has banned the box, so Samantha was surprised to see the application form ask: Have you ever been convicted of any offences […]

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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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