The new Sentencing Whitepaper released by Justice Secretary Robert Buckland has introduced new rules on criminal record disclosure rules to employers.
Aimed at helping rehabilitate offenders, the announcement will have an effect on the jobs market in the UK with citizens who hold minor criminal records having more options opened to them.
The new rules involve a reduction in the requirement to routinely partake in criminal record disclosure for non-sensitive roles. Custodial sentences of up to a year will become spent after a further 12 months without reoffending, which is down from the four years currently in place.
Sentences between one and four years will no longer be required to be disclosed after a further four crime-free years. This is down from the seven years currently in place. Sentences in excess of four years will not automatically be disclosed once a seven-year period of rehab has been served. This is a significant shift from the current rules, where offenders must disclose this information to employer for the rest of their lives.
Kerry Redmond, Head of Background Screening and Security Vetting at Morson, commented on the criminal record disclosure changes and what it means for recruitment:
“The government has been sensible in its approach, which will see thousands of ex-offenders with lower-level convictions aiming to work in non-secure or sensitive environments no longer having to disclose their criminal history, should they meet the criteria set out.
The approach continues to protect our most vulnerable communities and sectors and re-enforces the importance of background screening across all areas, yet allows for the rehabilitation of ex-offenders programme to progress positively and means some of the largest scale recruitment programmes of our time should now have access to additional talent they previously may have been forced to reject based on more stringent vetting requirements.”
Other rule changes to be introduced in the whitepaper include ending the release of offenders sentenced to between four and seven years at the halfway point, instead requiring them to serve two-thirds of the term before eligible for release.