CHANGES TO DISCLOSURE OF CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS TO POTENTIAL EMPLOYERS

From 30th November 2020, reforms to criminal disclosure rules will take effect which will reduce the length of time which many criminal convictions require to be disclosed by a large proportion of job applicants. For people aged 18 or older at the time of conviction, a 6-month custodial sentence would need to be disclosed for a period of two and a half years rather than the current period of 7 years. Furthermore, a fine will be deemed to be "spent" after 12 months rather than the current 5 years. For people aged under 18 as a the date of conviction, the disclosure period for a 6-month prison sentence will be reduced from three and a half years ot one and a half years and the disclosure period for a fine will be 6 months rather than two and a half years. The reforms will not change disclosure periods for more serious convictions resulting in prison sentences for more than 4 years or for sensitive occupations such as teaching or medicine. However, there are likely to be occasions where employers seek disclosure from potential employees of "unspent" convictions although historic and minor convictions should now be deemed to be irrelevant in determining whether someone should be given a job in a large proportion of cases.