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"Do you have any cautions or criminal convictions?"


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I am applying for a job in a call centre for a well known transport company. This is a simple helpdesk job. There's no mention of CRB or DBS in the job description and it is definitely not a job that involves working with minors or vulnerable people.

 

Almost at the end of a very long online application I get asked:

"Do you have any cautions or criminal convictions?"

 

There is no mention of whether they are spent or unspent. I do have a caution and a minor conviction (paid with a fine) circa 20 years ago, and that is definitely spent.

 

There is no way to call the HR or personnel dept by phone or email.

 

I am tempted to say "No" and then explain this at an eventual interview, but I fear they could use this against me later in case they meant asking for spent convictions.

 

How should I behave in this case?

"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for Poundland"

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I am applying for a job in a call centre for a well known transport company. This is a simple helpdesk job. There's no mention of CRB or DBS in the job description and it is definitely not a job that involves working with minors or vulnerable people.

 

Almost at the end of a very long online application I get asked:

"Do you have any cautions or criminal convictions?"

 

There is no mention of whether they are spent or unspent. I do have a caution and a minor conviction (paid with a fine) circa 20 years ago, and that is definitely spent.

 

There is no way to call the HR or personnel dept by phone or email.

 

I am tempted to say "No" and then explain this at an eventual interview, but I fear they could use this against me later in case they meant asking for spent convictions.

 

How should I behave in this case?

 

If it doesn't specifically advise that you aren't entitled to the protections of The Rehabilitation of Offenders Legislation, and it isn't obvious to you that the post is exempt (medical, law, criminal justice) : I'd reply "No" if your conviction is spent.

 

I state this even with my post history of saying "better to disclose if you think it will come out".

If they later make it clear the post is exempt and you have to reveal a spent conviction, you can do so at that time and explain that the exemption wasn't made clear at the online application stage.

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If it doesn't specifically advise that you aren't entitled to the protections of The Rehabilitation of Offenders Legislation, and it isn't obvious to you that the post is exempt (medical, law, criminal justice) : I'd reply "No" if your conviction is spent.

 

I state this even with my post history of saying "better to disclose if you think it will come out".

If they later make it clear the post is exempt and you have to reveal a spent conviction, you can do so at that time and explain that the exemption wasn't made clear at the online application stage.

Thanks.

 

Am I right in thinking that, if the employer doesn't ask for an enhanced DSB at the selection stage, then one shouldn't be made to declare spent convictions anyway? For example at an interview?

"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for Poundland"

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The Rehabilitation Of Offenders Act is clear that unless the job is exempt from the Act, you do not have to disclose spent convictions.

 

If the job is not exempt, can they even ask for a disclosure, enhanced or not?

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Well, in the meantime the job advert has disappeared altogether. Thank you all.

"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for Poundland"

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So it's academic now for that job, but for the future, if you asked again, unless the job is one which is exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (highly unlikely for jobs like the one you described), employers cannot ask you to disclose a spent conviction or caution. If your conviction/caution is spent it's legally as if it didn't exist and you can and should answer 'No' to the question you were asked. What's more if the employer were to find out about it at a later date they cannot dismiss you or discipline you or take any other action against you - it's a criminal offence under the RoOA for an employer to act to your detriment because of a spent conviction/caution.

 

There are many websites online that will tell you which jobs are exempt from the RoOA and it's only for those that you must disclose spent convictions Even that's changed recently and for jobs which are exempt you usually don't have to disclose old convictions for minor offences any longer. Again, plenty of online websites explain what the rules for that are.

 

Unless you are in a regulated industry that is exempt from RoOA the employer cannot obtain DBS (CRB as was) checks anyway.

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