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Criminal records

What children will need to tell potential employers

    A criminal record includes convictions and cautions, it can also include police intelligence. There a rules that say people can lawfully lie and not tell people about spent convictions.
    It can be confusing because there are different types of criminal record check.

    Most people want to know what they will need to tell their employer? What a person needs to tell their employer about their previous convictions depends on how old they were when convicted (or cautioned) and the sentence or punishment they received:

    • It is helpful to get a list of previous convictions, cautions and any other police intelligence held on the police national computer. The YOT may be able to get this, alternatively it is possible to apply for a subject access request (this costs £10).
    • In most jobs, a person does not have to tell their employer about any spent convictions. Spent convictions and cautions are for offences when a person is considered rehabilitated. Find out about whether a caution or conviction is a spent or unspent conviction.
    • For jobs working with children and vulnerable adults, a person needs an enhanced criminal record check. This means all previous convcitions, cautions and relevant police intelligence will be disclosed.
    • More information about what to tell an employer can be found on the Unlock website.

    Sometimes insurance companies, colleges and universities can also ask whether a person has previous convictions.

    The Court of Appeal and High Court have recently ruled that the enhanced criminal record check regime is unlawful, read more in legal updates.

    Criminal Record

    A record of a person’s criminal convictions and cautions.

    Spent Conviction

    Spent convictions are old convictions that an employer does not usually need to be told about.

    Supreme Court landmark ruling on childhood criminal records

    R (on the application of P, G and W) (Respondents) v Secretary of State for the Home Department and another (Appellants) [2019] UKSC 3 The Court has upheld a declaration of incompatibility under the Human Rights Act 1998 made by the Court of Appeal and the High Court. In a landmark judgment the Supreme Court […]