Guidance on disclosure of cautions and convictions

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) has published a guidance note for employers following the recent changes to legislation, which provides that certain old and minor cautions and convictions no longer have to be disclosed.

The changes to legislation determine which convictions and cautions can be taken into account by employers and other bodies and what is included on a DBS certificate.

Whilst there is a specific list of offences that will always be included on a certificate (serious offences which relate to sexual offending, violent offending and/or safeguarding) the DBS will now filter convictions and cautions to remove those that should no longer be disclosed on DBS certificates.

In summary, the following will be filtered and will not be disclosed on a DBS certificate:

  • Cautions received when 18 or over if 6 years has elapsed since the date of issue and the offence does not appear on the list of specified offences
  • Cautions received when under 18 if 2 years has elapsed since the date of issue and the offence does not appear on the list of specified offences
  • Convictions received when 18 or over if 11 years has elapsed since the date of conviction, it is the only conviction on record, it did not result in a custodial sentence and the offence does not appear on the list of specified offences and
  • Convictions received when under 18 if 5 ½ years have elapsed since the date of conviction, it is the only conviction on record, it did not result in a custodial sentence and the offence does not appear on the list of specified offences.

The changes to legislation have a direct impact on what an employer can ask an individual in relation to cautions and convictions. Employers should ensure their application forms only request details of those cautions and convictions that would be disclosed on a DBS certificate.

Further, if an employer takes into account a caution or conviction that they would not have been entitled to know, they will be deemed to be acting unlawfully under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

Full details of the changes and precedent wording to be included on application forms can be found here. For any other queries regarding Safeguarding, please contact a member of the Employment Team

This entry was posted in Devonshires, employment, employment law, UK employment. Bookmark the permalink.

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