The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (1974) - Criminal convictions
This Act recognises that people who have been convicted of an offence should not, as a result, be discriminated against for the rest of their lives and therefore it prohibits discrimination in employment within defined limits.
Some posts are exempt from the Act and these include those involving work with children, the elderly, persons suffering from serious illness, people with disabilities and, for certain professions, where the highest integrity is expected including employment in finance, legal, medical and security services.
Posts exempt from the Act
The information that accompanies the job application form will indicate if the post you are applying for is 'exempt' under the Act. If it is, you are required to provide details of all convictions or pending cases, including dates and sentences, on a separate piece of paper and enclose it in a separate envelope marked with the job reference with your application form. You are also required to complete the declaration on the application form.
For those posts exempt from the Act which involve substantial unsupervised access to children and vulnerable clients, the council, under arrangements introduced for the protection of children and other vulnerable clients, will check with the CRB Disclosure Service for existence and content of any criminal record of the successful applicant.
Information received from the police will be kept strictly confidential and will not debar you from appointment unless it is considered that the conviction renders you unsuitable for work with children, young people or any vulnerable clients, or it relates to any other offence which is deemed to make employment unsuitable. In making this decision we will consider the nature of the offence, how long ago and what age you were when it was committed and any other factors which may be relevant, including appropriate considerations in relation to our Dignity and Respect at Work policy. In such circumstances each applicant will receive written reasons.
Posts covered by the Act
The information that accompanies the application form will indicate if the post you are applying for is not exempt from the Act. If it is not, you will be required to give details only of any 'unspent' convictions, including dates and sentences and attach these to your application form. Unspent convictions may be convictions for which the rehabilitation period has not been completed or convictions, which are exempt from the Act (i.e. never unspent). You will also be required to complete the declaration on the application form. An offer of employment may be made on a conditional basis, subject to the relevant checks being carried out.
- Any information given will be kept confidential and will only be considered in relation to the job applied for.
- Failure to disclose cautions, convictions or charges pending court during the recruitment process will result in the withdrawal of a job offer. If undisclosed cautions, convictions or charges pending are discovered after employment commences, disciplinary action/dismissal could ensue.
- It is the responsibility of the applicant to check with the appropriate authorities if s/he is unsure if any convictions are exempt or not exempt or excluded from the Act.