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Our mission is to support & advocate for people with criminal records to be able to move on positively in their lives. Find out more

Help us to challenge employment discrimination

Work is progressing well to lay the foundations for our project to challenge employment discrimination. We’re now at the stage where we want to start opening out the conversation, to help to shape the project.

This update is the first of what we hope will be an ongoing conversation – with employers, with people with convictions, and with others who have an interest in ensuring that employers have fair and inclusive policies and procedures that support the recruitment of people with convictions.

There’s a number of things we’re working on, and we’re keen to get your input.


  1. Help us develop good practice and resources for employers
  2. Send us evidence of bad practice
  3. How would you like to be treated when applying for work?

Help us develop good practice and resources for employers

One of the key focuses of the project is to support employers in developing good policies and practices. One way we’re going about this by developing a resource centre specifically for employers.

So, we’re going back to basics. We want to make sure that we support employers who choose to consider criminal records by helping them to do so in a way that is fair, inclusive and lawful. However, we also want to challenge the inappropriate use of criminal records and to question the assumption amongst some employers that criminal records checks should always form part of their recruitment process in all circumstances.

To help us do this, we want to know what you think ‘good practice’ looks like.

We’re keen to get the thoughts of a range of people. We’re particularly keen to hear from employers about what you would find useful in helping you in this process. We’re keen to highlight the different ways that employers have tried to make themselves more open and inclusive towards people with convictions. We’re also looking for suggestions of existing resources that you’ve found useful.

We’ve put together a short set of questions, and we’d be grateful if you could spare a few minutes to share your thoughts (you can stay anonymous if you wish).

Complete the online survey here.

Alternatively, you can read the questions here and email your answers and other thoughts on this topic to

Send us evidence of bad practice

Alongside our work to support employers to develop good practice, we’re also on the look-out for evidence of bad practice by employers with regards to the policies and processes that they have in place for job applicants with criminal records.

This could include employers that:

  1. Have a blanket policy of not recruiting anybody with unspent convictions
  2. Carry out DBS checks for roles not eligible for them
  3. Request applicants to provide a copy of their ‘police record’ (also known as ‘enforced subject access’)
  4. Don’t give applicants an opportunity to explain their criminal record

Find out more details here about how to send us examples and evidence of bad practice.

How would you like to be treated when applying for work?

Alongside our survey of employers, we’re also keen to hear from people with convictions about how they’d like to be treated when applying for work.

In particular, we’d like to know what you think is a ‘fair’ way of dealing with criminal records as part of the recruitment process.

To do this we’ve put together a short survey for people with convictions.

You can complete the survey online survey here (you can stay anonymous if you wish).

Alternatively, you can read the questions here and email your answers to


Interesting in keeping updated about this work?

You can subscribe to receive these types of updates by email by signing up to our email updates and choosing to receive ‘News on our work challenging employment discrimination’.


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Photo of Helpline lead, Debbie Sadler
Debbie Sadler
Helpline lead

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