If you work for an organisation that carries out Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks, you may have heard of a recruitment of ex-offenders policy. But what exactly is this policy? And which companies need to have one in place?
In this blog we will provide an overview of recruitment of ex-offenders policies, what they mean, and how they should be used in practice to ensure compliance across the board.
What is a recruitment of ex-offenders policy?
A recruitment of ex-offenders policy is designed to ensure employers act fairly when requesting DBS checks as part of their recruitment process.
As part of the Police Act 1997, a piece of legislation which plays a key role in legislating DBS check eligibility, the code of practice states that organisations requesting DBS checks must have a written policy on the recruitment of ex-offenders.
This code of practice also states that organisations requesting DBS checks should treat all applicants fairly. This means that applicants’ criminal records should not mean they are automatically discriminated against in the recruitment decision.
A recruitment of ex-offenders’ policy provides evidence of an organisation’s commitment to fair recruitment, and can be disseminated to prospective candidates at the outset of the recruitment process.
Who needs a recruitment of ex-offenders policy?
Based on the code of practice set out in the legislation, any organisation requesting DBS checks should have a recruitment of ex-offenders policy in place.
This is designed to ensure both the company requesting the check and the applicant in question are aware of the rights and responsibilities that the organisation has in terms of fair practice and treatment in recruitment.
The DBS has produced a sample policy for organisations to adapt and use.
How does the policy work in practice?
Practically, this policy reflects the obligations of the organisation in terms of providing fair and equal opportunities, including no automatic discrimination based on an applicant’s criminal record.
It also identifies that in cases where a DBS check is required, this is made clear in job adverts and throughout the recruitment process.
The policy should be made available to applicants for DBS checks at the outset of the recruitment process.
Recruitment of ex-offenders policy: A summary
A recruitment of ex-offenders policy is crucial for organisations that request DBS checks as part of their recruitment process. Here are the key points to remember:
- The policy sets out the organisation’s obligations in terms of practice and opportunity for applicants who may have a criminal record.
- All organisations requesting DBS checks as part of their recruitment process should have a recruitment of ex-offenders policy in place as per the legislative requirements.
- The policy should be shown to all DBS check applicants at the start of the recruitment process so that they are aware of the obligations and requirements of the organisation.
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