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HR FOCUS


ANYTHING TO DECLARE?


Dominic Headley is a legal officer at Nacro, the crime reduction charity, and is the main contributor to ‘Recruiting safely and fairly: a practical guide to employing ex-offenders’. Here, he shares his insight into the world of recruitment and explains how to ensure you are not unjust in your slection process. “From a pure self-interest point,


getting the best employees from the biggest talent pool is a desirable and sensible move.”


- Former cabinet minister, Jonathan Aitken, speaking at the launch of Nacro, the crime reduction charity and the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development’s, new guidance for employers on recruiting ex-offenders safely and fairly.


“70% OF ALL CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS ARE


DEALT WITH BY WAY OF A FINE.”


Picture the following scenario. A fully- qualified, skilled and experienced IT manager with exemplary references


62 | TOMORROW’S FM


applies for a job with a local authority. During the recruitment process, he discloses in writing a previous conviction for assault which occurred 10 years ago; the sentence was £100 fine. The applicant was successful at interview and offered the job subject to ‘satisfactory’ pre-employment checks. The company requested an enhanced DBS check, and the applicant was allowed to start work before the DBS certificate was issued; and so he gave notice to his previous employer. When the certificate is presented to the new employer, he is dismissed for having an ‘unsatisfactory’ DBS Check despite:


1. the certificate confirming the information he had already disclosed, and


2.


the role not being eligible for a DBS check.


The result is the applicant is now without a job and the local authority has to re-advertise the role at considerable cost.


The negative approach to employing ex-offenders highlighted in the scenario above can have immense social and economic consequences not just for the individual and their families, but the wider community, as there are over 10 million people in the UK with a criminal record.


“OVER 20% OF THE WORKING


POPULATION HAVE A CRIMINAL RECORD.”


Dianah Worman OBE, Public Policy Adviser for Diversity at the CIPD, said: "Employers report that they increasingly struggle to find people


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