Agencies won't entertain any unspent convictions?

By DisplacedR - 25 Jun 19 3:11 PM

This is my first post and I do apologise for it being a bit on the long side.....

I have been out now for over a year and I'm really struggling to get employment. I have a sexual offence conviction and was aware that that would be harder. So I have (up to today) really only applied for warehouse jobs. My thinking was that I was more likely to be employed as it is generally high turnover of staff and it's not customer facing... but it appears I was so wrong!

 I applied for warehouse vacancies online and was shortlisted. Went to Osbourne Appointments and First Call to register on the same day. A year later and I have not heard ONE THING from First Call. As for OA, when I registered at the office, I disclosed to the woman whom dealt with me and then again before I left with a woman whom I assume is higher up, and was told, although it will be harder it's not impossible and was thanked for my upfront honesty. A week had past and I heard nothing in regards to the job I had applied for so I called. Didn't get it because there were others more experienced, but more jobs would be available the next week. Following week I hadn't heard anything, so I called. The companies wanted more experienced workers and/or people that had worked for them before. I then continued to job seek and tried to login to my account with OA that was set up the day I registered but I couldn't sign in. I contacted the office through email and over the phone 4 times to ask why I couldn't access my account and was told that they would inform IT that there was problems. After 7 months of being signed up to their agency, after emailing their head office about having NO CONTACT, I was told that they will not be helping offering me a job as I have an unspent conviction.... shame I didn't get the same upfront honesty from them!!!

 During this time of being on road, I have signed up to about another 5 agencies and have heard NOTHING! I did manage to get a week of work from Linear Recruitment (by pure fluke) and even when I tried to get the same job at the same warehouse through a different agency, I was told it was the company's policy not to employ sex offenders. I'm finding that it seems to be everyone's policy! Sex offenders and arsonists are just unemployable?! 

 Today I was shortlisted for a job, the company was mentioned in the text and I knew that a DBS check was required for the job, so I double checked and I asked the agency just to be sure. Asking if having an unspent conviction meant I would not get the job I was told 'the agency won't accommodate unspent criminal convictions of any nature'. I asked her what agency she worked for so I know not to apply for any vacancies advertised in future to which she replied 'All agencies in warehousing won't accommodate unspent criminal convictions'. Not sure if that is true as it clearly is possible (even if it is by error on the agencies part).... I managed to get a few agencies from her that won't entertain me though (Staffline, PPM, Single resource, Mach recruitment and Gap Personnel in case you were wondering).... but I'm starting to feel like there is no hope for employment! I tried warehouse but no. I tried bars as it was an adult environment, but no. What kind of jobs can sex offender go for?....  I'm at a loss and I'm obviously going to get zero help from agencies.
By Thorswrath - 24 Aug 19 8:02 AM

I know it is difficult and much of the barrier to employment is not a legal one but more of an emotional one and cultural one.

There is no law against employing someone with an unspent conviction unless it's for particular jobs (the obvious ones like school teacher or nurse etc) most other jobs there is really little to no risk of further offence, warehousing,construction, most office based roles. People might think that because you have access to a computer in an office that could pose a risk but in my past experience working in offices for big firms, they have extremely strict internet security measures...i mean you'd get rumbled even if you went on to amazon to buy something because you're only given permission to access sites relevant to the company on a white list.

Recently i did a night shift labouring in a big retail store, helping to set up a display one there except a handful of people, no customers wandering around or anything like that. In that situation, what is the point in rejecting someone who has an internet based offence, would make no sense and would only make sense to reject an application from say a convicted shoplifter or burglar since you would be around lots of valuable stock.

Some jobs are perfectly suited to the likes of us, because there is little to no contact with the general public and mostly it is in a secured area, that's not to say we necessarily pose a risk to the general public but more the general public wont pose a risk to our safety or the reputation of the company by 'outing' an employee in a public space...out of sight, out of mind.

I think the ban the box initiative is excellent and needs more government support. i know what you're saying about rehabilitation and part of rehabilitation is gaining employment, having a purpose within society that adds value to society. The ex offenders who realise this and genuinely want to contribute and live an offence free life benefit most from employment i believe because it reinforces a non offending lifestyle...also once burned twice shy springs to mind.