Skip to main content

Content Type: Changing the System

Call for evidence: recruitment agencies and criminal records

Unlock works with employers to promote Fair Chance Recruitment for people with criminal records.

Through our helpline, we hear that there can be some challenging ‘grey areas’ when applying for work via a recruitment agency.

We hear that there can be confusion around whether, how and when to disclose a criminal record when fulfilling an agency contract. We understand that this can lead to disappointment and unfair treatment, where an agency and an employer take different approaches to criminal records.

We want to hear from people who have sought work via a recruitment agency with a criminal record. Please tell us:

  • Why did you decide to find work via an agency?
  • Were you asked about criminal records when you joined the agency?
  • Did the agency find work for you? If so, what was the role/ company?
  • Were you asked to share your criminal record for the new role?
  • What happened next? Did your criminal record affect your agency employment? If so, how?
  • Anything else that you’d like to let us know

The information you provide will not be shared without your permission, and will help us to make recruitment practice fairer for people with criminal records.

Email us in confidence at

You can find information here if you are currently looking for work through a recruitment agency.

Changing the System

We want to make sure that our website is as helpful as possible.

Letting us know if you easily found what you were looking for or not enables us to continue to improve our service for you and others.

Was it easy to find what you were looking for?

Thank you for your feedback.

12 million people have criminal records in the UK. We need your help to help them.

Help support us now