An old conviction that job seekers do not have to tell most employers about.
When applying for most jobs, it is not necessary to tell an employer about spent convictions or cautions.
There are certain jobs, for example working with children and vulnerable adults, that employers are entitled to ask for a standard or enhanced criminal record check and to know about all convictions, cautions and relevant allegations. In some circumstances cautions and a first conviction can be filtered.
Sentences received as a child are spent more quickly than adult sentences - typically they take half the time to become spent. Youth cautions are spent immediately. When a community order or youth rehabilitation order is passed, the court should specify the end date of the whole order (which may have a number of elements to it). This is so it is clear when the conviction becomes spent. If the court fails to specify an end date, the conviction is spent two years from the date of conviction.
See how long a caution or conviction takes to become spent:
Custodial (prison) sentences [Rehabilitation period if aged under 18 (starts from end of sentence)]
- Over 4 years [Never spent]
- 30 months – 4 years [3.5 years]
- 6 – 30 months [2 years]
- 6 months or less [18 months]
- Detention and Training Orders (DTOs ) for 12-14 year olds [18 months – 2 years]
- Youth Rehabilitation Order (Community Order) [6 months]
Other sentences and disposals [Rehabilitation period if aged under 18 (applies from date of conviction)]
- Referral Order [None - the conviction is spent on completion of the order]
- Fine [6 months]
- Compensation Order [Once paid in full]
- Conditional Discharge [None - the conviction is spent at the end of the order]
- Absolute Discharge [None - the conviction is spent immediately]
- Youth conditional caution [3 months]
- Youth caution (warnings, reprimands) [None]
- Reparation order [None - the conviction is spent at the end of the order]
- Bind over [None - spent at the end of the order]
- Hospital order [None - spent at the end of the order]
Example: Pujit is 17 and has received a youth caution for shop lifting and a referral order for driving offences. The referral order was for 3 months and he has completed it. He applies for a job at a supermarket. He will not have to tell his employer about his youth caution or driving offences because they are considered spent.