Nacro Resettlement Advice Service helps an employee to return to work

Jamie contacted Nacro Resettlement Advice Service because he was worried about losing his job. He was the subject of an investigation by his employer for failing to disclose his criminal record.

Seventeen years ago Jamie received a four-year custodial sentence for robbery and burglary offences. When Jamie applied to be a steward on a ship he was not asked to disclose any convictions during any stage of the recruitment process. However, when Jamie fell ill whilst working on the ship he tried to enter the USA for emergency treatment and was denied entry due to his convictions. As a result his employer found out about his convictions and when he returned to the UK they temporarily suspended him for failure to disclose.

We advised Jamie that:

  • He had not been asked to disclose at any stage of the recruitment process and therefore was not legally obliged to do so and had not breached his employment contract.
  • He had worked for his employer for five years and therefore had employment rights and his employer would need to go through a formal process. They wouldn’t just be able to dismiss him. (This would be the case provided he had worked for his employer for at least two years.)
  • Once the reforms to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (ROA) came into force on 10 March 2014 his convictions would become spent (this meant he would no longer be required to declare his convictions).
  • His convictions had taken place a long time ago, they had no relevance to his suitability to carry out his job and there had never been any issues relating to his conduct or capability. Therefore it was unfair that he had been temporarily suspended.

Jamie had his first disciplinary meeting on 19 February 2014 and relayed the information he had been given by Nacro to his employer. We provided Jamie with a letter which confirmed that his convictions would become spent in March 2014.

His employer arranged for Jamie to have an interview with the US Embassy and apply for an ESTA, a requirement for people from the UK travelling to the USA. Nacro provided a letter for him to take to the interview which explained that the ROA reforms meant his convictions were considered spent. The letter highlighted that his convictions had taken place a long time ago and did not affect his suitability to carry out his job. Despite this, the US Embassy decided that Jamie should not be allowed to enter the USA.

However, his employer decided that Jamie could return to work. The employer took three months to make this decision and Nacro offered Jamie advice and guidance throughout the whole process.