Criminal convictions

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 was introduced to prevent people being discriminated against in their employment because of an offence committed in their past

Spent and Unspent Conviction

For employers, this means that people whose convictions are "spent" should be treated as rehabilitated and as if their conviction had never taken place.

However, there are certain sentences excluded from rehabilitation under the Act which are never considered 'spent'. These are:

  • A sentence of life imprisonment
  • A sentence of preventive detention
  • A sentence of imprisonment, youth custody or corrective training for a term exceeding 48 months

Excluded Jobs and Professions

There is also a list of excluded jobs and professions under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 which means that for certain types of employment it is lawful to reject a person for employment on the grounds of a spent conviction. When making an application for one of the excluded job categories, job applicants are obliged to disclose all convictions, whether or not they are spent.

The relevant excluded job categories within the University include:

  • Medical practitioner, nurse, midwife
  • Medical laboratory technician
  • Radiographer, occupational therapist, physiotherapist
  • Health services personnel
  • Posts involving schooling or other dealings with young people

Declaring Previous Unspent (and Spent) Convictions at the Point of Application for a Post at the University

Applicants for all posts at the University are required to disclose previous unspent convictions, and for all 'excluded posts' (see definitions above) to previous spent and unspent convictions, at the point of application.

The information will only be made available to those persons who need to see it as part of the recruitment process.

Where an individual has disclosed a conviction in his or her application for a post at the University a discussion will take place with the applicant regarding the offence and its relevance to the position. Failure to reveal information relating to unspent convictions (and also spent convictions in the case of 'excluded' occupations) could lead to withdrawal of an offer of employment/termination of employment.

The University  will not discriminate unfairly against applicants with a criminal record. Having a criminal record will not necessarily bar an applicant from working for the University: the nature of a disclosed conviction and its relevance to the post in question, will be considered.


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Last edited: 19/02/2020 15:09:00