Danny contacted our helpline for advice following dismissal from his job for failing to disclose his conviction.
Danny explained that despite there not being any specific questions about convictions on the application form, when his employer offered him the job he disclosed that he had a conviction and had been to prison. His employer didn’t want to know anything about the conviction, saying:
I don’t care if you have a past, I like you and I want to give you a chance.
Unfortunately, the employer then decided to ‘google’ him and became aware that he had been convicted of a sexual offence and had spent 6 years in prison. Danny was immediately dismissed. He said:
I know my offence is serious and I am very sorry for what happened. I was young, immature and in one of the darkest places of my life. I am scared about this, I only want to get my life back on track. I am more clear headed than I have ever been with so much to offer the world.
Our advisor confirmed that due to the length of the sentence, Danny’s conviction would never be spent. Sadly, due to the nature of his offence, the changes to the rehabilitation periods that were being introduced by the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts bill (PCSC) in 2023 would also not benefit him.
Therefore, the key to success in getting back into employment would be the way in which he presented himself to an employer. We advised Danny to have a look at Unlock’s list of “friendly” employers and Ban the Box employers who don’t ask any questions about criminal records at application stage.
We suggested finding smaller, local employers who may be more interested in meeting local applicants and then making their own judgement as to suitability. We discussed the benefits of self-disclosure statements, which allow individuals to get across what they want to say about their conviction, the circumstances at the time and importantly to remind an employer that there is more to them than their criminal record.
Six weeks later, Danny contacted the helpline again:
I just wanted to thank you for all the information and advice you gave me. It completely changed the way I approached disclosure and the employers I was applying to. I’ve got a new job now and feeling a lot more positive about the future.
When and how you disclose your conviction will be different for each individual and each job. However, Unlock would never recommend you voluntarily disclose – if an employer wants to know they should ask. If Danny hadn’t mentioned that he’d been to prison, maybe the employer wouldn’t have ‘googled’ him but once he had, he couldn’t unsee the information he had read.
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.
Published June 2022.