Ex-Offender Policy

Introduction

As an organisation using the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to assess applicants’ suitability for positions of trust, WESC Foundation fully complies with the Code of Practice and undertakes to treat all applicants for positions fairly. It undertakes not to discriminate unfairly against any subject of a DBS check on the basis of a conviction or other information revealed.

On the 29 May 2013, legislation came into force that allows certain old and minor cautions and convictions to no longer be subject to disclosure. In addition, employers will no longer be able to take an individual’s old and minor cautions and convictions into account when making decisions. All cautions and convictions for specified serious violent and sexual offences, and other specified offences of relevance for posts concerned with safeguarding children and vulnerable adults, will remain subject to disclosure.

In addition, all convictions resulting in a custodial sentence, whether or not suspended, will remain subject to disclosure, as will all convictions where an individual has more than one conviction recorded.

Scope

This policy applies to all applicants, volunteers and staff.  Recruiting managers should be aware of the content of this policy and the need to treat applicants fairly. Applicants should be aware of this policy and the need to disclose appropriate information as part of the recruitment process.

WESC Foundation is committed to the fair treatment of its staff, potential staff, volunteers or users of its services, regardless of race, gender, marital status, religion, sexual orientation, responsibilities for dependants, age, physical/mental disability or offending background.

Responsibility for implementation

The Director of HR & Enterprise has overall responsibility for this policy.

Policy Statement

Process

This policy has been created with reference to guidance from the Disclosure and Barring Service.

We actively promote equality of opportunity, and welcome applications from a wide range of candidates, including those with criminal records.

A DBS check is only requested where it is proportionate and relevant to the position concerned.  Where a DBS check is required this will be stated from the outset in all recruitment literature.

Where a DBS check is required, we encourage all applicants to provide details of their criminal record on a separate sheet. We guarantee that this information will only be seen by those who need to see it as part of the recruitment process.

The amendments to the Exceptions Order 1975 (2013) provide that certain spent conviction and cautions are ‘protected’ and are not subject to disclosure to employers. Guidance and criteria on the filtering of these cautions and convictions can be found on the DBS website.

We ensure that all those involved in the recruitment process have been suitably trained to identify and assess the relevance and circumstances of offences.

At interview, or in a separate discussion, we ensure that an open and measured discussion takes place on the subject of any offences or other matter that might be relevant to the position.

Failure to reveal information that is directly relevant to the position could lead to withdrawal of an offer of employment/volunteering opportunity.

We undertake to discuss any matter revealed in a DBS check with the person seeking the position before withdrawing a conditional offer of employment/volunteer role.

Filtering

In May 2013, important changes to the Rehabilitations of Offenders Act (ROA) Exceptions Order and Part V of the Police Act 1997 removed the requirement for applicants or existing employees to disclose certain minor convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings that are deemed ‘protected’ when applying for roles in social care that are subject to standard or enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks. ‘Protected’ convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings aren’t disclosed on standard or enhanced DBS certificates because they’re filtered (removed) from the certificate before it is issued. This system is commonly known as the DBS filtering rules.

If the person is under 18 when convicted

A conviction will be filtered from a standard or enhanced DBS certificate only if:

  • Five and a half years have elapsed since the date of conviction.
  • It’s the person’s only conviction.
  • Conviction didn’t result in a custodial or suspended sentence.
  • Conviction doesn’t appear on the List of specified offences.

A youth caution, reprimand or final warning received when aged under 18 will be filtered after two years have elapsed since the date of the caution was issued, but only if it doesn’t appear on the List of specified offences. There’s no limit to the amount of youth cautions, reprimands or final warnings that can be filtered.

If the person is over 18 when convicted

A conviction will be filtered from a standard or enhanced DBS certificate only if:

  • 11 years have elapsed since the date of conviction.
  • It’s the person’s only conviction.
  • Conviction didn’t result in a custodial or suspended sentence.
  • Conviction doesn’t appear on the List of specified offences.

A caution received when aged 18 or over will be filtered from a standard or enhanced DBS certificate after six years of the date the caution was issued, but only if it doesn’t appear on the List of specified offences. There’s no limit to the amount of cautions that can be filtered.

Access

This policy is available to all staff, learners, volunteers, parents/carers and other appropriate stakeholders.  All the policies and procedures will be held on the Intranet. Hard copies are available from the MIS office.

The policy is also available to applicants on the recruitment pages of the WESC Website.

Further Information

Further information can be obtained from the Director of HR & Enterprise.

Information is also available via the Disclosure and Barring Service at www.homeoffice.gov.uk/dbs

Failure to comply with this policy may lead to disciplinary action.  

Author information

Produced by:                      Director of HR

Date Produced:                  March 2013

Last updated                       Nov 2019

Updated by:                         Director of HR and Enterprise

Audit date:                            Nov 2020