Are there jobs which I can’t do because I have a criminal record?

Some jobs are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, as set out in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (Exceptions Order) 1975.

It does not matter whether your criminal record is spent, you must declare it when applying for exempted roles and the employer is entitled to take this information into account when determining your suitability for the role.

The DBS states says that employers should not have a complete ban on employing ex offenders, so if you have told the employer about your past and your DBS check confirms the information you gave, you may still be offered the job.

However, in some cases, a criminal record is an absolute bar to an application. Those convicted of certain sexual offences are blocked completely from adopting, and some violent or sexual offenders are prevented from working with children and vulnerable adults — the Government’s Disclosure and Barring Service operates a list of people banned from these positions.

In other professions, regulatory bodies have their own rules, which means that anyone who has received a custodial or suspended sentence can generally not become a doctor, lawyer or accountant, among other things.

What’s next?

Do some jobs require full disclosure?

The Disclosure & Barring Service website

This page was last updated on February 14th, 2014

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