Changes to Time Limits for disclosure of Convictions
From Monday 10th March 2014 the length of time that previous offences must be declared to a new employer have been reduced.
The basic position is that those who are convicted of a criminal offence and who have not re-offended should not have to disclose their convictions to new employers after a period of time has passed. This is known as the conviction becoming ‘spent’.
There are various exceptions for particular job roles, such as those working with children or vulnerable people where convictions should always be disclosed. In addition to this, offences which are classed as serious must always be disclosed and will never become ‘spent’.
Prior to the recent change serious offences included any offence for which the person received a prison sentence of more than two and a half years. Now this has been increased to four years. Despite this increase any conviction for specified sexual or violent offences will still never become spent.
As a result of the changes the obligation to disclose convictions when applying for a job has changed.
The new rehabilitation periods are (for offenders over 18):
Custodial sentence between 2 ½ – 4 years = 7 years from completion of sentence becomes spent
Custodial sentence between 6 months – 2 ½ years = 4 years
Custodial sentence up to 6 months = 2 years
Fine = 1 year
For young offenders (under 18 at date of conviction):
Custodial sentence 2 ½ – 4 years = 3 ½ years from completion of sentence becomes spent
Custodial sentence between 6 months – 2 ½ years = 2 years
Custodial sentence up to 6 months = 18 months
Fine = 6 months
Do I need to tell my employer about my criminal record?
The rules about when and what needs to be disclosed are not straightforward to follow and will depend on the job you do, the nature of the offence you committed and the sentence you received. I strongly recommend that if you have concerns about this that you seek advice first. You do not want to disclose a conviction that is ‘spent’ and which could jeopardise your job opportunity, nor do you want to fail to disclose and risk future problems.
I am happy to discuss your concerns with you on a confidential basis and I can be contacted on 01983 897003, 023 8098 2006 or by email [email protected]