Criminal convictions

Having a criminal conviction does not always mean you will encounter difficulties finding a job. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act enables people to reintegrate into society once their convictions have been 'spent' (this varies by offence). This means that once your conviction has been spent employers cannot discriminate against you because of your past, or use your conviction as a reason for not employing you.

Support and advice

The following organisations can offer further support and advice.

  • Nacro Provides a range of practical support for ex-offenders.
  • Unlock Organisation providing information, advice, training and advocacy for those with a criminal record.

Finding employers

The nature of your conviction and the sector you want to work in may have an impact on your job hunting. As a general rule once your conviction has been spent there is no legal requirement for you to disclose it to an employer. However there are some notable exceptions, for example if you plan on working with children and/or other vulnerable people. We recommend that you look into how different sectors will view your convictions.

The campaign 'Ban the Box' calls for employers to create a fairer environment for ex-offenders to compete in the job market by removing the tick box about previous convictions from the application forms. To date, over 70 different employers have signed up to this campaign, including some graduate recruiters. There are also other 'friendly' employers you can explore opportunities with.