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Support Needed Please


Support Needed Please

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Debbie Sadler
Debbie Sadler
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Hi HelpNeeded

Hope that all goes well when you go to Court.

It's quite a difficult question to answer as all employers view convictions differently. As you said, applying for driving jobs with a driving conviction can be difficult but this tends to be because employers find it hard to get insurance for anybody with a motoring conviction.

There are some employers who won't employ anybody with an 'unspent' conviction - this includes Royal Mail, John Lewis and Eon. Other employers are risk averse and are loath to consider any applicant with any type of conviction (whether it is relevant to the job or not).

There are however many others who can look beyond criminal convictions and judge somebody on the skills and experience that they have. All the time your conviction is unspent, you will need to disclose it - be upfront and honest about it and try to give an employer as much information about the circumstances as you can in order to help them make a better informed decision. There is quite a lot of information on the Unlock Information Hub about disclosure.

Our Helpline speaks to people every day who, despite having convictions, have secured jobs in a variety of positions and fields. I can understand that this is a very anxious time for you but, I'd try not to worry about getting back into the workplace.

Hope this helps.


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Debbie Sadler
Debbie Sadler
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Can't think of any instances where an employer has been taken to court for taking a spent conviction into account, although I'm sure you would be able to find several Employment Tribunal cases.

However, as we've said, its more than likely that an employer's who have access to both spent and unspent convictions will use other reasons for not offering somebody a job.

It's encouraging to see more and more companies are signing up to 'Ban the Box' - (which calls on UK employers to remove the tick box from application forms asking about criminal convictions and leaves these discussions until later in the recruitment process) but we appreciate that there's still a lot more work to be done with employers.

Although there are examples on the Unlock Information Hub of employers who will not take anybody on with 'unspent' conviction, we are currently working on producing information looking at more 'offender friendly' employers and agencies who specifically assist people with convictions in getting work. Hopefully, this will present a more balanced view of the workplace.


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Debbie Sadler
Debbie Sadler
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Hi HelpNeeded

You're right about the five year period. If you get an endorsement on your Licence then the rehabilitation period is 5 years.

I understand that it's really difficult to disclose convictions to potential employers, you really don't know how they are going to deal with you at that point and for many people, it takes them back to a time which was not so great. However, there are 9 million people in the UK with a criminal record so the chances are it's not something that an employer won't have come across before. Even though I mentioned that there are employers that won't take anybody on with an unspent conviction, many do.

As you say, you can't not work for the next five years. Not only would it be a bad move financially but you will be doing your future career prospects no favours whatsoever (at the end of the 5 years you'll have to explain the 5 years gap in your employment history!!).

I think before you start to think about applying for jobs and disclosing to employers, you need to try and accept that we are all human and we all make mistakes. You seem to be quite hard on yourself and clearly feel very guilty about what's happened. Hopefully, once the court case is over, that will be one less thing you have to worry about and you can try to concentrate on the future.

Good luck


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Debbie Sadler
Debbie Sadler
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Not sure where in the country you are based but it might be useful to have a look at the Charity Jobs website. Lots of jobs in finance, some for organisations who have links to the criminal justice system who you may find are more offender friendly.

One thing i've learnt from my own experience is that you sometimes have to look 'outside the box', and use your skills and experiences in different ways maybe in a different business sectors.


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Victor H
Victor H
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I must be wrong here but I thought if you don't get a custodial sentence outcome from a judge you don't get a criminal conviction ?

Could be wrong about that so don't get your hopes up exactly.

I was only aware of cautions and convictions appearing on basics scotland checks and all dbs checks. The courts can provide penalties and community orders of various kinds just unsure if they could fully act as an criminal record, take a caution for example it is not a criminal conviction and is immediately spent meaning no need to disclose yet the powers that be still see it on a dbs check but on basic scotland form its not shown.

I think take it one step at a time regarding your case and outcome I know your in that limbo space right now while you can't progress with your life but till that outcome occurs then you cant progress forward, having said that no need to not be flexible you can apply to shops, retail and offices and job positions that do not require any basic or dbs checks at all and still work right in fact before you get anything that may appear on any form of job checks you could still get employed.
Victor H
Victor H
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Bit confused you say spent in 5 years but then you may receive a fine or community order Wink

Its ok I can understand the need for privacy more so then ever....

You are currently employed which is the good news so technically no change to anything you could just continue to work for another 5 years and it becomes spent?

Guess one strategy you could do is if in 5 years all is spent, then don't disclose anything on your next job then see if a dbs check is done
(if its financial industry chances are high for a standard check) and then at least if you get your foot in the door at least you can then discuss anything that appears on your dbs check. If they say why you did not disclose you can inform them of the ROA that its spent and no longer legally required to disclose and take it from there its their choice at the end of the day.

Course plenty of other fields and areas where only basic scotland checks are allowed and no dbs at all but certainly much lower paid or lower end roles give or take !
hazelnut
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Sorry, I can't help but I didn't want to read and run.

I hope someone with more knowledge will be around soon.
HelpNeeded
HelpNeeded
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Thanks Hazelnut.

Nothing yet but i'm hopeful someone out there may be able to help me soon.

Thanks Again.
HelpNeeded
HelpNeeded
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Hi Deb S,

Thank you for this.

Absolutely, i will disclose until the conviction becomes spent (still shocked it'll be 5 years - i'm told the likely outcome is a fine, a driving ban and potentially some form of community service) i'm just struggling to get my head around the fact some organisations would reject me outright because of this! Surely any form of sentence should become 'spent' once the sentence has been served!? Do you know if this sort of system is used in other countries? It doesn't feel fair to me!

Anyway, before i rant on, thank you again for sharing. I'm in a position where i have recruited for my own team in the past and i always took the approach with disclosure that if it wasn't relevant for FS then it didn't stop me offering to a successful candidate. I just hope i can find a firm and manager that have a similar view to me!

Appreciate your closing point but in my view, I've done wrong, been caught, and will be given a sentence which the magistrate feels is appropriate, i can't change or influence that now! My only focus is getting back into work, it's not having work which was one of the reasons for me making the mistake in the first place!
HelpNeeded
HelpNeeded
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Hi 3000rec,

It would be almost impossible to prove, the employer could give any one of a number of reasons for not progressing an applicant in this scenario and so i very much doubt there would be any cases to view.

This is why, in my opinion, disclosure (at any level) should be made illegal before a conditional offer of employment is made. This would force organisations to write into their recruitment policy guidelines on how hey will treat convictions, both spent and unspent, and the whole process would become much clearer.

This means that the best candidate for the role should be offered the role and only then would a background check be used, assuming the check didn't conflict with their policy then there should be no reason to decline the applicant.

I'm surprised any employer could have a blanket approach to unspent criminal convictions, it just doesn't seem ethical to me! I'm shocked by some of the names of the companies that Deb S has shared! If the best candidate for a role has a conviction, spent of unspent, that is not related to their role and/or industry they are working in then there is no reason to not offer the position.
GO


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