As an employer, you may worry about what people think of your organisation hiring ex-offenders. The public is actually positive towards the companies fulfilling their social responsibility. Hiring an ex-offender means that you provide equal opportunities and give people with convictions a chance to start fresh. It is also a rewarding journey as you will be contributing to help boost your apprentice’s self-esteem and confidence while opening new doors for them.

To help you set up your recruitment process, here are the main points to consider:

  • Consider if you need to carry out a CRB check. In most cases, there is no legal obligations although there may be some roles that require a DBS check
  • Have a clear policy in place to state if/how/when you will ask ex-offenders for a CRB
  • As an equal opportunities employer, there are a few ways you can ensure that you focus on the skills rather than the candidate’s criminal convictions:

Shortlist candidates before asking for criminal convictions

If you are concerned about the candidate’s convictions and feel you may not employ this person based on concerns, remember to give them a chance to explain the circumstances in person or over the phone

  • As stated in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, you are not allowed to take into account any convictions that are “spent”. It is also illegal to carry out a CRB check at a level inappropriate to the role.

If you are unsure about some aspects of the recruitment process, please do contact us for more information. You will also find below the link to organisations and charities that support employers hiring ex-offenders.