Skip to main content

Employment, Business and Volunteering

Everything you need to know about gaining employment, starting or running your own business, or volunteering.

What you need to know, in brief.

  • There are 3 main levels of criminal record check and which one is done by the employer depends on the job role.
  • If you need to disclose your criminal record, we suggest that you disclose face-to-face, this tends to be most effective. View our top tips when applying for a job with a criminal record
  • Make sure you know what level of check an employer is doing and only disclose what you legally need to.
  • Many organisations actively employ people with convictions, if you’re struggling to find employment then our list of friendly employers can be a good place to start looking.
  • Many people with a criminal record choose self-employment to avoid prejudice from employers.
  • If you’re struggling to find employment, volunteering can be a great way to build your confidence and experience

Latest news, advice, stories & more from Unlock

View all news and updates
Photo of Advice manager, Debbie Sadler
Debbie Sadler
Advice manager

Do you need help & support with an issue you’re facing?

We provide support and advice for people who need guidance with either their own, or someone else’s, criminal record.

Please use the search box to start typing your issue. If you cannot find an answer to your problem then you’ll be given options to contact us directly

Visit the Helpline now

There’s a talent pool of over 11 million people that you might be overlooking

People with criminal records make good employees. Make sure you’re not missing out. We support UK employers to recruit people with convictions and help them to deal with criminal records fairly.

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