https://civilservice.blog.gov.uk/2016/02/08/ban-the-box/

Ban the box

Head shot of Rupert McNeil
Rupert McNeil, Civil Service Chief People Officer

As I shared in my last blog, one of my priorities is ensuring that the Civil Service is a role-model employer in the UK that welcomes and champions all kinds of diverse groups. I am committed to promoting equality and valuing inclusion, and I know this is a top priority for the whole leadership of the Civil Service.

On 2 February the Minister for the Cabinet Office delivered a speech about inequality in the public sector. This set out his vision for the Civil Service to lead the way in improving social mobility through an inclusive working environment. As the minister said, ‘we need to think about diversity not just in terms of legally protected characteristics – gender, sexual orientation, race, disability – but in terms of making sure institutions are full of people from different backgrounds, experiences, and attitudes’.

Ban the Box

To do this we need to ensure we have the best possible mix of talent and act to remove barriers for all individuals, including ex-offenders. That’s why I am proud that the Civil Service is championing the Ban the Box campaign that aims to provide fairer opportunities for offenders to compete for jobs by encouraging employers to remove the tick box asking about criminal convictions from application forms.

Today (8 February 2016) as part of a wider set of measures to support the rehabilitation of offenders, the Prime Minister announced that the Civil Service will not ask for details of criminal convictions at the initial recruitment stage, subject to any exceptions for jobs with specific security requirements.

The Prime Minister is keen to encourage employers to support the Ban the Box campaign, as there are an estimated 10 million people with a criminal record in the UK, which is a significant proportion of the population. At present, over 60 per cent of short-term prisoners re-offend within a year of release at great cost to business, communities and taxpayers. However, it’s encouraging that research shows that employment reduces reoffending by up to a half, so it is critical to reduce barriers to work for individuals with criminal convictions.

Giving people a level playing field

As a senior leader in this organisation, I do recognise that we also have a duty of care to our staff and the members of the public that we serve. The Civil Service will still ask about criminal convictions during the recruitment process, but we will do this after the initial application form stage. We recognise there may be some roles with specific security requirements and these will be exempt from this approach: for example roles in law enforcement such as prison officers. Our safeguards will also remain, which require all offenders to declare certain previous convictions when applying for jobs in sensitive areas, such as working with children and others in vulnerable circumstances. This announcement will not change any security procedures and we will still be operating in line with Government Security Secretariat requirements.

The Ban the Box campaign matters and I’m proud to support it because it aims to give offenders a level playing field and a fair chance of getting back into honest work in order to become productive members of society. Most crime committed is relatively minor, often resulting in fines and community sentences. This means that a significant proportion of the population has had a conviction at some point in their lives. Few of these pose a serious risk of harm to the public but they can make it challenging to find employment. I believe that the Civil Service has a key role in supporting the rehabilitation of offenders and that it’s important that we are genuinely committed to considering all candidates, including ex-offenders, on merit.

57 comments

  1. Linda

    Look up the name John Worboys for just how dangerous this idea is.

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    • CSL

      I agree, Linda. It seems that the department has gone into some kind of idealogical overdrive of equality. Whilst few would argue with the sentiments behind equal rights for all, in terms of race, sexual orientation, social standing or disabled status, this latest fad is a step too far.

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    • Will

      Because everyone with a criminal record is a serial rapist? Strange logic, Linda.

      Also, Worboys was able to reoffend because he was never arrested, not because he was able to get a job after being convicted and completing a sentence. Your example has nothing at all to do with the situation.

      What's your position on ex-offenders? That they should *not* be allowed to work?

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    • Mike H

      Not a very good idea, quite honestly. I've no problem with employing ex criminals who were convicted for relatively minor offences like shoplifting or other petty theft. What worries me is that we start employing people with convictions for violence of various types, who might then present a potential danger to other staff if they lose their temper, or whatever. Goes against the principles of a safe working environment. I'm not convinced that the so called safeguards will be adequate, as in real life it's impossible to carer for every scenario. All you can do is minimise risk - which is manifestly not being minimised in this instance.

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    • Mike H

      Not a very good idea, quite honestly. I've no problem with employing ex criminals who were convicted for relatively minor offences like shoplifting or other petty theft. What worries me is that we start employing people with convictions for violence of various types, who might then present a potential danger to other staff if they lose their temper, or whatever. Goes against the principles of a safe working environment. I'm not convinced that the so called safeguards will be adequate, as in real life it's impossible to cater for every scenario. All you can do is minimise risk - which is manifestly not being minimised in this instance.

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  2. Daryl Peagram

    Currently we don't think twice about leaving bags at our desks and women happily step into the lift with a stranger as we know our colleagues are not thieves and rapists. Criminality is not a protected characteristic and the quality of candidates coming forward to service in the civil service will suffer as it will become know as a rehab centre rather than a career. If this is to be law for everyone let parliament debate it. But it appears the civil service is to be the guinea pig.

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  3. Ian

    Looking at this from the other side we are now treating those without any criminal convictions the same as those who do (whether minor or not). Surely the best way to show you are including all is to keep the box but discount it if other factors are suitable for consideration.

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  4. Karen P

    I can understand the thinking behind this and on paper it looks like a good idea but I am still uncomfortable about giving people false hope. If they don't declare their convictions until later in the process it is going to increase the workload for the recruitment team.
    Also where is the line drawn? Which convictions would exclude someone? Would a 22 year old with an assault conviction from 3 years earlier be excluded or would that be considered okay as he hasn't reoffended? How about a 50 year old with a murder conviction from when he was 19 be considered or would they be automatically excluded? There is going to need to be some very clear guidelines for this too work in practice.

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  5. David

    The civil service is a good employer and as such has thousands of applications from people who don't have criminal convictions. I can't see the point getting rid of the box in fact it should be an essential part of the sifting process.

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  6. Ken Fairbank

    This motion to 'Ban the Box is totally mis-guided in my view, and an example of the warped sense of equality that seems ever more common in Government circles and elsewhere. When I grew up, you knew that getting a criminal conviction would have a serious affect on your job prospects - it was a deterrent, and one that worked. I agree that this is a dangerous and ill-conceived idea that sends out the worst of messages at a time when we need to be rebuilding a sense of social responsibility, not undermining it further.

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  7. S

    John Worboys is a pretty extreme example; and relatively recent...are we really saying that no one is ever to be allowed to move on from an error of judgement or an action committed out of poverty or in the heat of the moment, many many years ago, even if they have served thier penalty? Must they also be denied the opportunity to gain a useful career, for life? Yes, the vast majority of us do not commit crimes, but if an estimated 1 in 6 people have a criminal record, some very "good" people must have skeletons in the closet.

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  8. sandra

    But if someone has a minor conviction going back many years why shouldn't they be given a second chance? I have never had a single conviction, caution etc my entire life, and it was hard enough for me to get a job - so how demoralizing, disheartening and heartbreaking must it be for someone who has wiped the slate clean and wants to start over again?

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  9. sandra

    What if it was your son, daughter, husband, boyfriend, mother or father who had a previous conviction - would you still feel you had the right to deny them a second chance? Besides all that, it is made clear in the article that there would be safeguards in place and security procedures, so it is not exactly a free for all! To be honest, you don't have to have a criminal record to be a thoroughly disagreeable piece of work!

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    • Vicky

      No matter how minor the offence or crime or how long ago the crime was committed, the crimes leave a lasting effect on their victims. Banning this tick box is not sifting out different crimes it is putting all these criminal in one group, thus giving them all the same opportunity. These victims have to live with the effects for the rest of their lives, but yeah you are totally right...the criminals should be given a second chance. There are plenty of people get throught this loop hole to start with working in a 'trusted position' without letting the already convicted criminals a chance!

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  10. Iffyminty

    I think we should go even further. At interviews we should all have to wear a huge bag to hide our indentities and use an electronic voice changer. In fact why can't we send someone else in our place and speak to them via an ear piece so they can give our answers. This prison idea just isn't going far enough to stamp out potential discrimination!

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  11. Baz

    Aren't recruitment teams already in a position to judge? When I applied for a job in the Civil Service, I was expected to declare any convictions and their outcomes, even if the convictions were "spent". So I assume that when my application was sifted originally, the recruitment team decided that in my case the offences were insignificant. This was also the case when I applied for a level transfer to another branch of the Civil Service. OK, it can be argued that in this instance, my offences were petty (D&D) and I was only either fined or cautioned, plus they were "spent" & I hadn't reoffended since, so I wasn't exactly classed as a "risk" but the point I'm making is if the recruiting team are aware of it, then surely they are able to judge, depending on; a) the nature of the offence, and b) how long ago it was comitted

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  12. Jane

    This seems to be a very blunt instrument that doesn't actually address the real issue - much like the mandated anonymisation of applicant details. Surely we should be looking at training staff on unconscious bias, and helping people to learn about assessing applications fairly, attacking the root causes of why there is bias. How will people learn if they are never given the opportunity to exercise some reason? And what about the additional work for recruitment teams and interview panels, not to mention giving some applicants false hope? We will end up not knowing until interview stage that someone is essentially unemployable (for instance, an applicant for management accountant with a conviction for fraud). I think this says 'the Civil Service are unable to train their staff to recruit using empathy and judgement so we're taking away any chance of doing that for them'

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  13. Ian Smart

    I have only just heard of this, there has been no consultation on this. I have been in the civil service 28 years and this is the worst idea I have ever heard of. It is vile. It is an insult to the staff and the public. What is the point of keeping your nose clean, resisting temptation often in difficult and adverse circumstances only to have someone say it does n't matter. I was proud to work in a service that had no one with a CRO number in it, in a contracting service we should be raising the standard not lowering it. And what of the public? Do you want to submit your benefit application or go to the Job Centre and it be a gaol bird examining your case. Do you want to work with these people who could have sold drugs, robbed houses and assaulted people? I don't. I feel both myself and my service has been degraded and I am very angry. What message does this send to kids - it does n't matter if your honest? We are in a recession and when things are difficult criminals should be at the bottom of the pile. Serve them right.

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  14. Pete

    If they want to make recruitment fairer, maybe they should 'ban the box' for the school candidates attended.

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    • R

      I've never been asked where I went to school, or university. Have you ?

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  15. George

    The proposal to "ban the box" is so palpably ill-conceived that one must seriously question the critical faculties of those who proposed it. The implication is that employers will ask job applicants for details about their previous convictions later on in the recruitment process. If the later revealed conviction(s) results in excluding the applicant from the job, as it would have done had it been revealed at the outset of the application, how can it possibly be argued with any degree of seriousness, that the later disclosure of the conviction benefits either the prospective employee or employer? The employee will suffer the disappointment (and possibly expense) of having their expectations dashed and the employer will have wasted their time processing that applicant; possibly at the expense of other worthwhile job applicants. Real inclusiveness can only be achieved by relaxing the law on previous convictions under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, under which, and subject to certain exemptions, there would be no requirement to declare previous spent convictions. If the government want to make a real difference to the lives of those who's career/life chances have been blighted because of previous convictions, then amend the legislation rather than proceed with a fudge which is clearly what this is.

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  16. Chris P

    Sandra - both of my sons are law-abiding citizens. I don't see why they should be on a "level playing field" with someone who, as a matter of their own choice, is a thief or a thug. The former jailbirds have made their choice to put themselves above the law and others and there has to be some meaningful consequences for them. It's a about character not "mistakes". Once the general public and press get wind of this then the only outcome can be further reputational damage to the reputation of the service. Sure non-criminals can be disagreeable, and, fact is, I have worked with one or two who have been. But this looks like dogmatic nonsense.

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  17. CEO

    I am perusing this blog with a mixture of bewildered astonishment and pure anger.
    The whole principle and dialogue surrounding matters of equality has spiralled out of control to almost cosmic levels.
    I do not consider myself " equal " to a person with a criminal history.
    I consider myself to be far, far above them.
    If you want to contradict me in this I'd be delighted and interested to know why.

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  18. Rich

    So does this mean that anyone applying for a job in HMRC will still have a DBS check?

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    • Michael

      Has someone considered the danger of ex-convicted who may have stopped offending and being caught for it but may have contacts who could press them to obtain information or money for unlawful ends. I can see people getting targetted for robbery because the underworld had information these people were on record at HMRC as wealthy or high-income.

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  19. Ste

    As someone with a few convictions from many years ago I'm not sure we necessarily need this. I've applied for several jobs and even a few promotions within the civil service all in which I had to disclose my criminal convictions. I've had nothing but an amazingly positive experience where I didn't feel like I was being judged or that it affected my chances in anyway. Its important to own up and acknowledge your mistakes and as long as you're treated fairly I don't see an issue. Indeed the being open from the start with past problems is a good test of character (In my opinion). The very fact I was able to get a decent job helped me to sort my life out from idiot teenager to married man, two kids and a mortgage and a (hopefully) useful member of society.

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  20. David

    Everyone, with a few notable exceptions, deserves a second chance. But not a third and a fourth and a fifth. Serial offenders are the enemies of society and these anti-social elements should have no place in the Civil Service.

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  21. Terry Urben

    Appears well intentioned and of course it makes sense to help rehabilitation of ex-offenders through work. But if we are; quite rightly, going to consider convictions further down the application process then unless the convictions were non-violent, nothing related to employee honesty or sexual offenses, then surely we are just creating more work & disappointing people down the line. Better to keep the box & consider application on its merits.

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  22. Dean Westall

    Looks like a case of kicking the can down the road. At some point if somebody has a criminal record ( and, for the record, I do, by virtue of mixing drinking with driving home from the pub) it must form part of a checking process. Presumably though by removing the question at the front the employer can fudge their way through any requirement to justify a rejection decision later, assuming you get any feedback which almost no-one does. So in a sense this could be seen as being worse because you won't necessarily know if you were rejected because of your conviction or some other reason.

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  23. Zoe Fitzgerald

    I don't mind this if we are talking a single minor offence in the past, we've all been young and daft, but anything more than that and I'm not too sure. I tend to agree with Ken Fairbank, the inability to get a job is one of the consequences that people think about when deciding whether to commit a crime or not.

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  24. Andrew

    Disgraceful suggestion - I'd generally prefer not to work with criminals thank you very much. You could consider letting in people with very minor/spent convictions from years ago, but should certainly draw the line at thugs and rapists. As for fraudsters, wouldn't that be a case of letting kids let loose in a sweetshop. If the Government wanted to investigate where there is true inequality in the Civil Service, they'd have a look at why so many Fast Track types have a white, upper middle class, Public School background. Oh hang on a second that's just decribed most of the Cabinet.........

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  25. Andrew Taylor

    There's a lot of rhetoric here about the types of crimes people may have committed. Everyone' talking about drug dealers, sexual offences, assault etcc but surely the bigger risk is around white collar crimes. Working in HMRC we have access to 30 million tax Payers records, 6 million Tax Credit customers details, Vat records, Child Benefit records etc. A good target for organised fraudsters don't you think?

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  26. Jenny Foster

    We're not talking about having dangerous people among our midst here, simply giving people who are trying to change their lives for the better a chance to prove themselves before they are judged on their past.

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  27. Alex

    The only box I would want to ban is the 'tick box' on the PMR of the whizz-kid who dreamt up this hare-brained scheme.

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  28. WillG

    Seriously??? why are we going to waste money sifting and interviewing people for jobs that we will later on say sorry but your criminal past means you are unsuitable for this position. Doesn't it make more sense to weed those applications out in the first place?
    If you are going to go ahead with this scheme then sift panels need to be clearly instructed that a single minor / petty crime can be overlooked but serial offenders and serious crime is not to be passed.
    Why are the lunatics now running the asylum?

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  29. John Fynaut

    The change may hold importance where young people may have records for minor indiscretions. By this I mean where they had a warning at sixteen for (say) being in possession of a small measure of cannabis. This warning stays on record for maybe 5 years and may affect someone going into Teaching even though they may only have experimented, as many teenagers will, with forbidden substances once. In these cases the criminal file is obviously a problem. Excessive alcohol consumption (also a drug) causes far more trouble but is not kept on police records.

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  30. Bully4U

    Surely the box is a method of checking the veracity of the applicant, do they lie or not?

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  31. John Drummond

    More potential nightmares for Line Managers (and Interviewers) to contend with;notwithstanding the security issues. In an ideal world criminals who serve a prison sentence would all be fully rehabilitated discharge, the government stats clearly show that this is not the case! Why put staff safety at risk, most civil servants live by the civil service code regarding conduct and social interaction why conmpromise this. I agree that the the box for criminal convictions should be removed because some criminals may deserve another chance, however it should be replaced with a " have you served time in prison for crimes of violence" box. Equality goes both ways why is the government intent to change our rules for a criminal minority which could change our civil service values!

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  32. Belinda Farmer

    Surely knowing whether an applicant has a criminal record at an early point in the recruitment process is important. It should not necessarily be a bar to employing that individual, but it is a part of their history that MIGHT affect their suitability for a particular role. It's much fairer to all if an early disclosure of criminality, however minor, is made; the change should be in getting the employer to use that information in a more impartial way to help make an informed decision as to whether the individual is suitable for the role, rather than dismissing them out of hand simply because somewhere in their past they were convicted of an anti-social act.

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  33. Lindsay

    In a past role I volunteered for A4e and helped people create CVs and write applications. I have read a few of your comments and you may be surprised to learn that most roles do not request a tick for spent convictions, so those minor offences or those before you were 16 do not need to be disclosed as these will be seen on a CRB check. Shocking that you may be sitting next to someone who pick pocketed or nicked handbags in their youth :O
    Myself I do not think this fully solves the problem, which is getting past offenders back into working life, where they can support themselves, instead of slides back into criminality.
    It is said that the punishment should fit the crime and there is always major debate on the length of time convicted persons should spend behind bars. But nothing is ever said of the life time brand that they must face when applying for jobs and this is a step, to me, is a welcome step in the right direction of equality.
    This will allow past offenders to apply for jobs and get to the interview stage and explain their conviction, the conviction that will come to light on the CRB anyway. This will allow interviewers to make a decision that will probably need to be agreed by an even more senior manager if it is a yes. So don't think serious criminals will be hired, the corporate and brand risk would be too great.

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  34. Joanne Shaw

    Have we been discriminating against these ' box tickers' in the past ? I find that very worrying. I didn't think that HMRC values would allow such behaviour in our recruitment process.

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  35. Dave Mason

    The change in the process surely should be at the sift stage where a judgement is made about past crimes and suitability, not turning a blind eye. It saddens me to see some of the comments from civil servants unwilling to give someone a second chance. What sort of society do they think we are going to have if people have little or no hope of a decent life because of a mistake made perhaps many years ago? How many of us are truly without sin or are we just lucky not to have got caught? This "lock them up and throw away the key" mentality seems to be growing with the emergence of social media where it is easy to become part of a lynch mob.

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  36. Stephen

    I concur with George (12FEB), and also refer to the Rehabiltation of Offenders Act 1974, which (per Wikipedia):"enables some criminal convictions to be ignored after a rehabilitation period. Its purpose is that people do not have a lifelong blot on their records because of a relatively minor offence in their past. The rehabilitation period is automatically determined by the sentence, and starts on the day the sentence has been served. After this period, if there has been no further conviction the conviction is "spent" and, with certain exceptions, need not be disclosed by the ex-offender in any context such as when applying for a job, obtaining insurance, or in civil proceedings. A conviction for the purposes of the ROA includes a conviction issued outside Great Britain (see s1(4) of the 1974 Act) and therefore foreign convictions are eligible to receive the protection of the ROA.[2]

    Under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, the Act as it applies in England and Wales was updated to provide new rehabilitation periods – with most convictions becoming spent in a shorter amount of time.[3] For adults, the rehabilitation period is one year for community orders, two years for custodial sentences of six months or less, four years for custodial sentences of over six months and up to and including 30 months, and seven years for custodial sentences of over 30 months and up to and including 48 months. Custodial sentences of over four years will never become spent and must continue to be disclosed when necessary. The rehabilitation period starts after the offender has completed his/her sentence, this includes time on license. For example an offender who received a two-year prison sentence will see his/her conviction spent six years from date of conviction - (two year sentence + four year rehabilitation period). For offenders who are under the age of 18 when convicted, their rehabilitation period is half of what an adult's rehabilitation period would be."

    So, the original Act was updated in quite recent times & should be considered 'current' - why not stick with that.

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    • Chrissie

      I think this is a great idea. The recently amended Rehabilitation of Offenders Act has helped people immensely. Unless you live with the shadow of a mistake made when you were young, you do not know what it is like to feel ashamed and ostracised because of it. You still can't travel to America, Canada and Australia, (to name a few), if you have any type criminal conviction, so let's kick someone even further down because when they were 18 they were sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for an offence. They have served this and are now in their late 50s, so they had an unspent conviction but are a model citizen, effectively they have rehabilitated themselves. Believe me when I say that it is soul destroying to have to admit this to Insurance companies etc. Thank goodness for the changes. That said, if someone has not been in trouble for decades, why should they have to admit to something that they did all those years ago when they have had to live year on year with the guilt? I realise that is a risk if violence is involved, and I am in no way trivialising it, but shouldn't we be trying to help people here and stop this judgemental culture we have if someone made a mistake when they were young?

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  37. Phil

    Giving convicted fraudsters (for example) access to the personal details of our customers is the equivalent of letting a fox loose in a chicken house... in my opinion. Plus do you really want to be sat next to a sex offender or a murderer? Extreme examples granted ...but it could happen...the world has gone mad!

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  38. Peter

    What a fantastic and inclusive idea this is. It is good to see the civil service taking an active role in supporting more challenging elements within the wider community. I feel it is absolutely right that we set the example with policies like this.

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  39. Louise

    I'm absolutely shocked at the responses here. They smack of privilige and classism. To say that people with criminal records are 'thugs', as one person did, is so ignore the fact that the vast majority of people with criminal records are victims of social background. To say 'I don't want to be surrounded by criminals, thank you very much', is to imply that all criminals are less worthy human beings. Most are just very unlucky. If our legal/prison system was truly rehabilitative, this wouldn't be a problem at all. I don't think anyone is suggesting we should get in lifts with serial rapists or share our data with fraudsters. What we should be doing is allowing people who have had a less prviliged start in life and have made some bad choices, but are as unlikely to reoffend as the rest of us were to offend in the first place, the opportunity to have a career.

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    • alison

      Louise, i find your comment quite patronising, suggesting that being from a poor background makes a person a 'victim'.
      Plenty of us from 'poor' backgrounds have worked hard to achieve in life, and not turned to crime - that is a choice available to everyone!

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  40. Caroline M Thacker

    I've mixed opinions about this.

    Prisons offer the facilities for offenders to gain an education and re-train in order to turn their lives around.

    A young offender with no previous convictions, who stole a couple of packets of cigarettes or cans of alcohol - give them a second chance.

    Education service - parents would like to think that their child is safe whilst at school and that the staff do not have any convictions for child molestation.

    However, you just have to look at the front cover of magazines and people are sending in stories about how they've been physically, mentally or sexually assaulted by their own relatives.

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  41. Blog team

    There's some really interesting - and generally positive comments on here - so thanks to everybody who has taken the time to post.

    Just to be clear, this campaign will stop penalising ex-offenders from applying for jobs at their initial point of application by removing the need to ask about a criminal conviction. As Rupert points out in the Civil Service "This announcement will not change any security procedures and we will still be operating in line with Government Security Secretariat requirements."

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  42. Philip Columbine

    you speak about equality in the Department, yet there has been statements about discrimination against Disabled employees (like myself) who have been discriminated against. how does the department regard this absolutely appalling matter when they claim they support Equality of all forms.

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  43. Simon Eccleston

    Good afternoon Rupert,
    It is great news that the Civil Service is championing this initiative for many reasons. One benefit of this is that is promoting the Civil Service in a positive light to the offenders.
    This links me nicely into the work that I am currently undertaking through Civil Service Local (North West) in six prisons across my region. Through the Going Forward Project teams of cross department Civil Servants work alongside offenders to give them life skills they will be able to use upon their pending release.
    The work we have done over the past two years has been of great benefit to both the prisoners and the civil servants. If you and in fact anyone else reading this blog would like any information on our work, please drop me a mail at simon.eccleston@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk

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  44. Lee

    How standards of recruitment have dropped, once we needed "O" levels, "A" levels or a degree, now pinch a car and you could be in.

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  45. another Terry

    The Police and the Armed Forces consider employing ex-offenders, within reason, so I can't see why we pen-pushers can't do the same.

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    • Michael

      Generally speaking their service atones well for their past offences. I have been at a workplace which had a very capable Warrant Officer who was Garrison Sergeant Major and also volunteered helping homeless men - who openly admitted in conversations to us he joined the army after time in Approved School in youth.

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  46. Kath

    Most of these comments completely miss the point that banning the box is a way of not discriminating against ex offenders, at the earliest stage in the job process, the application. It does not mean the conviction won't be discussed, but it will happen later in the process, and its circumstances can be fully explained by the applicant, and considered by the potential employer. By sifting at the application stage, potentially employable candidates could be ruled out, unnecessarily. A decent chance of employment can only be a good thing in terms of rehabilitation for ex- offenders, and I applaud the Civil Service for the initiative of Banning the Box.

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  47. Chrissyblack

    There are some awful comments here. Should these people even be working for the civil service with their attitudes. I have a record from years back. It's spent now . I was a different person back then. The civil service has literally enabled me to turn my life around & become a productive member of society. I have known hardships most people wouldn't begin to imagine. I think what I have been through has made me a better person & do a better job. I understand our customers without judging . Some of you could learn a lesson from "people " like me.

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