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New Rules on the Disclosure of Criminal ConvictionsPosted on by Angela Rhodes
The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 introduced statutory rehabilitation periods 40 years ago which provided that where an ex-offender has not re-offended for a determined period of time based on the nature or length of their conviction, they are considered to be rehabilitated and therefore could present themselves to a potential employer as someone who has never been convicted. So for example a custodial sentence of between zero and six months had to be disclosed for seven years before it was considered to be “spent”.
The rehabilitation periods included in the Act have been criticised as being too harsh and result in ex-offenders finding it difficult to obtain employment. On 10th March, 2014, the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 came into force with the following revised rehabilitation periods:
|Up to 6 months||Period of sentence + 2 years|
|6 months to 30 months||Period of sentence + 4 years|
|30 months to 4 years||Period of sentence + 7 years|
|Over 4 years||Never spent|
|Community/Youth Rehabilitation Order||Period of sentence + 1 year|
|Non-custodial fine||One year from date of conviction|
|Conditional discharge, referral order, action plan order, supervision order, bind-over order or hospital order||Period of order|
There are still a number of specific roles that are excluded from the Act and for which employees must be asked to disclose or “spent” or “unspent” cautions and convictions. For further information: click here.
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