Chester 01244 405555

Grosvenor Court
Foregate Street Chester
Cheshire CH1 1HG
DX: 19990 Chester

Shrewsbury 01743 443 043

Lakeside House
Oxon Business Park
Shrewsbury SY3 5HJ
DX: 148563 Shrewsbury 14

Airport City, Manchester 0844 800 8346

Office 129
Manchester Business Park
3000 Aviator Way
Manchester M22 5TG

Send us a message
Our Offices

Hot topic: Disclosure of spent convictions

26th June, 2014

There has been substantial media attention recently following the Supreme Court decision in R (on the application of T) v Secretary of State in which it was held that disclosure of spent convictions in the process of applying for work is not a necessary interference with an individual’s right to private life.

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 was introduced to promote ex-offenders getting back into ‘honest work’, as long as they do not re-offend. There are specified time limits after which a conviction will be considered ‘spent’, and therefore need not be disclosed to potential employers.

However, 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. Such occupations include those which involve work with children.

In the current case, T was given a warning aged 11 for stealing two bicycles and JB was given a caution for shoplifting some false nails as a child. When they applied for jobs at a football club and as a care worker respectively, enhanced criminal records checks were used and their convictions were disclosed, despite the fact that neither had any other criminal record.

The Supreme Court held that this violated the individuals’ right to private life and therefore the criminal records system should be scaled back to “common sense levels”.

The judgment has been welcomed by human rights activists and The Equality and Human Rights Commission have commented that the Supreme Court had “sensibly recognised” that people should not be haunted forever by minor childhood offences.

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

You might also be interested in...

Is there such a thing as a good divorce?

22nd November, 2018

Family Law Partner Sandy Edwards believes there is. Next week, from 26 to 30 November, Resolution, an organisation of 6,500 family lawyers and other professionals, will be promoting “Good Divorce Week” which will focus on how separating and divorcing couples can put their children’s needs first and limit the impact of conflict. The week falls during the government’s divorce... Read More »

Ethics Guidance – Transparency in Price and Service

16th November, 2018

It is reported that a quarter of all complaints dealt with by the Legal Ombudsman revolve around costs. Therefore to avoid complaints and confusion, it is important to be clear from the outset. The new Transparency Rules (which the SRA have now confirmed will come into effect on 6 December 2018) require that accurate and relevant information is... Read More »

Aaron & Partners Increases Recommendations in Leading Industry Guide, The Legal 500

5th November, 2018

Aaron & Partners LLP has once again seen improved rankings in The Legal 500 – a comprehensive guide... Read More »

Contact Us