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Don’t be an offender of the new rehabilitation period reforms!

26th March, 2014

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 was introduced some 40 years ago and intended to give ex-offenders the opportunity to progress their career, as long as they do not re-offend.

Under the current legislation, an ex-offender is considered rehabilitated following a significant ‘clean’ period following their conviction (known as the rehabilitation period). In these circumstances, their conviction is considered to be ‘spent’ and they do not need to disclose it to a potential new employer.

Certain occupations are subject to an Exceptions Order under the legislation whereby an ex-offender is required to disclose their conviction regardless of whether it is spent or unspent.

In an additional effort to reduce levels of re-offending, the government has now proposed significant reforms to the legislation with the intention of allowing ex-offenders to get back into ‘honest work’ more quickly.

Under the current rehabilitation periods, a typical custodial sentence could take 10 years to become spent, or in fact could remain unspent indefinitely. The new rehabilitation periods propose to reduce this to, in most cases, four years.

Examples of common rehabilitation periods for both custodial and non-custodial sentences can be found in the table below:

Custodial sentences graph

It is important to be aware of your responsibilities in relation to disclosure of previous convictions whether you are applying or recruiting for the job in question.

Aaron & Partners’ expert employment team can advise on the steps you should take, specifically tailored to your circumstances.

For further information and advice in relation to rehabilitation periods, please contact Paul Bennett on 01743 453685 or send an email to [email protected].

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