Legislation has been introduced amending the length of time in which individuals have to disclose their (custodial) convictions.
Most convictions can be considered “spent” after a specified period of time. In reality this means, once that time has passed, that an individual is allowed to never mention the conviction again – including on job applications. Legislation also prevents employers from subjecting individuals to any detriment or prejudice where the convictions are spent. There are exceptions for certain types of roles and these are listed in the legislation and should be looked at separately (for instance caring roles or those working with the vulnerable).
Now, . Section 193 of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 (which came into force on October 28, 2023) has reduced the time period in which one must declare convictions as follows :
If you commit another offence during the declaration period, the additional deadlines are extended. Any new conviction has its own disclosure period, and until the end of the original conviction’s active period—or, if that occurs later, the end of the new disclosure term applicable to the more recent conviction—both the new conviction and the prior conviction must be disclosed.
Note that the time frames mentioned above apply to offenders who were older than 18 at the time of conviction. This is modified for those under the age of 18.
Employers are responsible for ensuring that all pertinent systems and forms are updated to account for the new time frames. Roles requiring basic or enhanced DBS checks won’t be impacted by these changes.
It is important that you are transparent to your employer about any run-ins you have had with the law previously. If it is found that you are lying and have not declared any convictions which are not spent, you could suffer legal consequences that vary depending on the severity of the lie and the circumstance involved. Some of them are:
- Breach of Contract
- Fraud or Misrepresentation
- Violation of Company Policies
- Dismissal for breach of trust and confidence
Conversely, if you are asked about any convictions that are now spent, then you are legally allowed to answer “none”. Even if an employer later finds out about it, they are not allowed to terminate your employment or prejudice you in any way.
For any assistance with any criminal or employment law matters, please do not hesitate to contact us Aston Bond. We would be more than happy to help. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, use our chat facility or call on +44 (0)1753 486 777.