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Hi There,


When I was 19 I was paid for IT work, fixing laptops etc with dodgey cheques to the tune of about £7000. Obviously this came back to bite me in the butt and I was in a position that my lawyer was saying If I deny knowing I felt the cheques were suspect I could face 18 months in jail. The alternative was to admit that I felt they may have been suspect and pay the lot back with 300 hours community service, which I did (seemed the less painful of the two at the time).


This resulted in me getting a criminal record.


I'm now 34 and have two magic little kids and I'm very settled with my partner, I work as a Software Test Analyst (IT) and have done for about 3 and a half years. I got my first testing position with a large financial organisation (I got lucky there as they bought the company I worked for so no checks were never done) after obtaining my professional qualification off my own back.


After 2 years I wanted to get more exposure in......wait for it......finance, as I thought maybe they'll only do a basic disclosure. So I got with an IT services company who subsequently did a basic disclosure and everything was fine (happy days).


Then I was faced with a permanent post (Still IT as a Software Tester) with one of the largest banks in the world (a great opportunity), and I thought I might as well see if I can get to the top of the tree in terms of companies.


So, the interviews went well and they offered me the job (good times), then they said the do pre employment screening with a third party company (first advantage), I was expecting this though so fair enough.


What I wasn't prepared for was the question "Have you ever had any criminal convictions, spent or unspent" with a statement saying If I answer incorrectly I could be charged (bad times). At this point I thought theres no way in the world I'd be getting the job.


I filled out the form by saying I had a previous charge which resulted in a fine which was subsequently paid and that it was spent years ago. I also admitted to 4 ccjs that were paid off over two years ago.


I thought it was a non starter, then HR called to say it turns out I only have 1 ccj left and its nearly off my record and that they wanted me to hand in my notice and sign my contract and get it back to them.


As you can imagine I was stunned, so I asked the onboarding advisor if First Advantage had done everything they have too (check wise). And she said, "We have done all of our minimum checks, which are enough to get me started".


I also asked, "Is there anything that could come back from now and the point of me starting with the company that could prevent me from starting with the bank", to which she replied "No".


So, I handed in my notice and two days before I started the onboarding advisor sent me the following email.


"I am pleased to confirm that we have now received your signed contract and that your pre-employment screening is underway. Please note that the minimum has been completed to allow you to start your employment with the bank. As soon as your pre-employment screen has been fully completed you will be sent a confirmation letter."


WTF, I thought (pardon the language). So I'm now in the post and absolutely loving it, I'm only one week in though, and every time my boss takes a call and looks flustered I'm imagining him being told that I've failed the screening and that I have to be marched out the building.


This is killing me. All I want to do, is the best job I can for my boss to get the best for my family. I've not been able to enjoy any part of this process what so ever. I know there are probably more deserving people for this post but I've fought tooth and nail to get to this stage and from a rehabilitation point of view I reckon I'm not much of a risk.


Can anyone please help put my mind at ease?

Edited by Corbaggio
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The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (c.53) of the UK Parliament 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 from the date of the conviction. 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.


For adults, the rehabilitation period is 5 years for most non-custodial sentences, 7 years for prison sentences of up to 6 months, and 10 years for prison sentences of between 6 months and 2½ years. For a young offender (under 18) the rehabilitation period is generally half that for adults. Prison sentences of more than 2½ years can never be spent. Other sentences have variable rehabilitation periods. Compensation orders are only spent once paid in full, but being bound over to keep the peace would be spent either at the end of the order or a year (depending which is longer).


A conviction that is spent and need not be divulged under British law may not be so considered elsewhere. For example, criminal convictions must be disclosed when applying to enter the United States; spent convictions are not excluded.


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Thanks for the reply G,


Still don't feel any more at ease though, to be fair anything that results in a £7000 fine is probably not seen as minor. Although maybe the distance between me and the charge is helping.


I think the screening form is initially setup so that it encompasses all levels of staff and based on the role they then maybe decide what kind of disclosure they do e.g. basic/enhanced (I'm in scotland, if that makes any difference).


God knows, thanks for the input anyway mate.

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Well it happened when you were 19 and you're 34 now, so any conviction is "spent"

Personally, if I was an employer and you'd been totally honest in the way you have, I'd be glad to have you working for me.


After all, we all make mistakes said the blind dalek as it fell off the dustbin (joke) :-)


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I think your absolute honesty may well have served to your advantage. Even though your conviction is undeniably spent, there is an exclusion under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act for senior jobs in banking and finance - and I suppose with access to IT systems, there is a good reason for including non-customer facing roles in that level of scrutiny.


Clearly the aim of screening is to identify those who pose a risk - you have been clear of convictions for many years, this was an isolated offence and you have obviously moved on and improved yourself. You did not attempt to deny the conviction and have explained yourself. I think you will be OK.

Any advice given is done so on the assumption that recipients will also take professional advice where appropriate.






If I have been helpful in any way - please feel free to click on the STAR to the left!


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