Diana had been working as a receptionist at a GP’s surgery for two weeks when she received her enhanced DBS certificate. She was horrified to see that it disclosed two theft convictions from 1987 and 1990. After nearly 30 years, she hadn’t expected them to appear on a criminal record check and due to the embarrassment she still felt about them she was considering resigning from her job. She contacted our helpline for some advice.
We explained to Diana that as she had two convictions they wouldn’t currently be eligible for filtering from her enhanced DBS check. We empathised with her over the shock and embarrassment she felt upon seeing the convictions disclosed, but advised her not to make any rash decisions. We gave her some advice on disclosing her convictions to her employer, suggesting that she should be totally open and honest and explain the circumstances around them. We recommended that she highlight how she’d never been in trouble with the police since 1990 and didn’t pose a risk to her employer or anyone she would be dealing with during the course of her work.
We contacted Diana a few months later and she informed us that although she’d handed in her notice, the practice manager had told her that he didn’t want to lose her and wanted to find out more about the reason why she’d resigned. They talked about her historic convictions, and he told her that he had no problem with them. Her resignation was not accepted.
“I can’t thank you enough for your support and helping me through such a stressful period. The advice I received enabled me to talk to my practice manager and he was absolutely amazing.”
This case demonstrates how due to shame and embarrassment, people often let their historic convictions stop them from moving on with their lives. However, there are good employers out there who are prepared to look beyond your convictions and will employ you based on your skills and experience.
- Disclosing criminal records to employers
- Challenging the DBS ‘filtering’ process as it doesn’t go far enough
Notes about this case study
This case study relates to Unlock’s helpline.
Names and details have been changed to protect the identity of those involved.