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Additions made to list of spent convictions that must be disclosed

Additions made to list of spent convictions that must be disclosed

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) (Amendment) (England and Wales) Order 2009, makes additions to the list of positions for which the disclosure of spent conviction information may be required, which now includes regulated work activity relating to children and vulnerable adults.

Under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (“the ROA 1974”), employers cannot ask candidates for details of spent convictions unless the category of the employer or the offence falls within an exception. The ROA 1974 provides the power to exclude certain categories of employment, and certain types of offence, from the operation of the Act, so as to require job applicants to disclose spent convictions in certain circumstances. The exclusions are set out in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 and include certain professions and occupations, such as doctors, lawyers, dentists and so on.

The Amendment Order adds to the list of permitted exclusions by conferring on employers the right to ask questions about spent convictions and spent cautions for the purposes of assessing a person’s suitability for: (i) regulated activity relating to children and vulnerable adults within the meaning of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006; (ii) working for the Criminal Records Bureau; and (iii) being an immigration officer.

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