Nacro’s reaction to the Court of Appeal ruling on criminal record checks
In response to the court ruling “T v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester”, Paul McDowell, Nacro’s chief executive, said:
‘For Nacro, this isn’t just about human rights, it’s about enabling people to make a positive contribution to society. We need to allow people who may have committed minor offences in the past, but have moved on from offending to be able to make a positive contribution to society.
‘The Court of Appeal has ruled that the way the criminal records system operates is unlawful. Currently, when employers apply for Standard or Enhanced Disclosures, the entire criminal history of that candidate is disclosed to the employer. This frequently includes very minor offences that took place many years ago. As a result, employers often discriminate against these candidates and prevent them from accessing education and employment opportunities due to their minor and irrelevant criminal histories.
‘This ruling calls on the Government to develop a more sensible approach to disclosing criminal records to employers. Where a conviction is serious and relevant to a job, of course the employer should be notified and able to take the conviction into account, and in some cases the candidate may not be suitable for the role. However, what is not appropriate, and continues to present a disproportionate barrier to people who have committed minor offences, is the blanket disclosure of all offences to employers and the resulting discrimination against all candidates with a criminal history.
‘This ruling is a welcome step in the right direction for an issue Nacro has campaigned on for many years. Nacro’s Resettlement Advice Service receives thousands of calls each year from people who have been unfairly treated by employers and are subsequently prevented from moving on with their lives and leaving their past mistakes behind them.’