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Agencies won't entertain any unspent convictions?


Agencies won't entertain any unspent convictions?

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DisplacedR
DisplacedR
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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.
Thorswrath
Thorswrath
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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.

Unfortunately employment agencies are about as useful as a car with square wheels.

I was in the same predicament a few years ago and yes the job centre are woefully ill equipped to help people with convictions get jobs.

I thought just being upfront and honest was the best policy at first but i learned fairly quickly that as soon as you mention a conviction (especially a sexual offence) irrespective of whether it was a contact based one or not, the person on the other end puts up a barrier immediately, so you might have thought out a genuine and sincere explanation of your offence, full remorse,taking responsibility to get help etc but all they hear is 'blah blah blah blah' and their probably thinking how soon can i move on to the next person.

Lets face it, if you were the employee of the employment agency responsible for recruiting staff, would you want to be known as the one who gives sex offenders a chance ? also pretty much everyone else would be on their side for their decision to refuse you work.

There are many things you can do without having to be employed, being self employed is probably the best way forward since you can't really sack yourself, but the problem there is you may have to re-train and then find business, so it will be slow to start with.

The other thing is writing directly to HR departments of large organisations, especially ones who have a very strong non discrimination policy and who actively pride themselves as being an equal opportunities employer. I personally have not found a job that way, but i did get a few good responses from a couple of large supermarket chains and when i wrote to them i was completely open off the bat about why i was contacting them and the difficulty i had in gaining work.

Personally i work in construction, have had to start right at the bottom and learn a hell of a lot. long hours, back breaking work sometimes, not great pay, but i earn and i have a reason to exist.  Construction agencies are lets say, a little bit more accessible for the likes of us and sites are crying out for labour that is reliable and hard working. I know many people i work with who have unspent convictions, some even openly talk about the fact they have just got out of prison, but for my sake i try to keep a low profile.

You need to find work where they don't ask and the work is generally short term. It is going to be extremely difficult for you to forge a long career within a traditional corporate company structure.









Edited
Last Year by Thorswrath
DisplacedR
DisplacedR
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Thank you for your reply and sharing your experienceSmile

I have thought that the best route would be self employed but that has it's own set of barriers like having a skill, having money, having demand and the ability to single-handedly supply it and then you have the problems with insurance etc. 

My work coach, as they like to call themselves nowadays, referred me to shaw trust (which they do to everyone after claiming UC for 2 years) about a month and a half ago. He told me he had spoken to them about my situation and they would be in contact within 10 days..... still haven't heard anything. I told him and he said he would chase it up.... still haven't heard anything. So I guess even they don't want to deal with me either. It's getting ridiculous!

It's always been the same vicious circle in life but now I'm really feeling it. I have a conviction of a sexual offence I have to disclose to everyone. I can't get a job, which means I can't get a home. I'm limited in my job choices, I could maybe get a self employed delivery job but I don't drive. Can't afford driving lessons/test or a car because I don't have money because I don't have a job. And if ever I win the lottery (which feels more likely) I could get a car, get a job and then all the criminal insurance companies will tell me about how they won't insure me because of my background. It really is a case of being stuck between a rock and a hard place.

I know there are success stories of people like me being able to get their lives back to at least a meaningful existence, and that little bit of hope is the only reason why I'm still here, but something really has to give in this country. It's so hypocritical to go on about prison being the answer and how important rehabilitation is but allow, nay encourage, all ex offenders to be shunned, discriminated against and left to drift through a meaningless existence. And then have a cheek to be further disgusted and angered when they continue a life of crime.... what else are they meant to do?!
Thorswrath
Thorswrath
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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 unit...no 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.

GO


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