Just to clarify. Any
employer can ask for a basic criminal record check for any job
and it's becoming more common for employers and employment agencies to ask for these. Some employers will reimburse you the cost (currently £25) but this is not always the case with employment agencies. Basic criminal record checks have previously been carried out by Disclosure Scotland but between September and December 2017, responsibility will be passed to the DBS.
Unless you are working with children or vulnerable adults or will be working in a role regulated by say the FCA, employers can't ask for you to do standard or enhanced DBS checks. Employers/employment agencies requesting these for jobs which are not eligible will be breaking the law.
All the time your conviction is unspent, it will be considerably more difficult to find work. Obviously you don't want to fork out money for criminal record checks without some security of knowing that you've got a job. If I were you, I'd probably try to apply directly to employers (rather than agencies) who will generally only ask successful applicants to have criminal record checks.
If you are claiming job seekers allowance then it may be worth asking your advisor whether there is any money available for you to get a basic criminal record check although bear in mind that many employers will want to see one that is no older than say 3 months.
Not sure whether you've had a look at Unlock's information site but we do have a list of friendly employers
who are more sympathetic to people with criminal records.
Hope this helps but feel free to telephone our helpline if you need any further information.
Need Unlocks advice? Visit our self-help information site
or contact our helpline