Financial & Legal News

Finding employment could be easier for ex-offenders

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Following legal changes ex-offenders could now find it easier to get work as certain custodial sentences no longer need to be declared.

Do you have to declare criminal convictions to an employer?

The changes significantly reduce the time people with criminal convictions are legally required to declare them to potential employers after serving their sentence and also when applying for courses, insurance and housing.

However, the most serious criminal convictions such as, those who have committed sexual, violent, or terrorist offences, are exempt from the changes.

How long do you have to disclose a criminal conviction?

Previous convictions used to follow offenders around for the rest of their lives as any sentences had to be disclosed and often it was thought that this was a significant barrier to future employment.

Now, custodial sentences of four years, or more for less serious crimes, become ‘spent’ after a seven-year period of rehabilitation, as long as no further offence is committed.

Stricter disclosure rules will continue to apply to jobs that involve working with vulnerable people, through standard and enhanced DBS checks.

The Ministry of Justice has also brought in changes meaning ex-offenders serving shorter sentences for less serious crimes will need to declare their criminal record for shorter periods.

The reforms are part of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022. They will immediately impact thousands of people with previously unspent convictions. Nearly 125,000 people sentenced in 2022 alone will benefit from these changes.

Ex-offenders and Employment

Research shows that ex-offenders in steady employment are less likely to commit further crimes and the number of ex-offenders in jobs within 6 months has more than doubled from 14% to 30% since April 2021.

Commenting on the changes, Partner and Employment Law Solicitor, Susan Mayall said:

“Employment law is constantly changing and this recent legislation will help those looking for work have improved rehabilitation opportunities and goes someway to eradicating the stigma around offenders.”

There are conditions in place and more stringent controls for serious offenders.  In addition if an individual reoffends during their rehabilitation period, they will have to disclose both their original and subsequent offences to employers.

“Employers have the right to know who they are taking on and so I always encourage open and honest discussion, but sometimes ex-offenders have the right to put their past behind them and these changes allow them to do just that” adds Susan.

How can we help?

If you are an employee facing issues at work or with your employer contact our Employee Law Solicitors on 0161 785 3500 or email for legal advice.

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

Written by Susan Mayall


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