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By thecheckpeople_admin
Published 12:49 pm

Spent Vs Unspent Convictions

When it comes to telling employers about your criminal history, there may be some instances in which you do not have to disclose any information. However, this isn’t always the case, and sometimes it will be against the law to hide your criminal record from the employer. These situations will all come down to whether you have a ‘spent’ or ‘unspent’ conviction.

Within this guide, we will be establishing the differences between spent and unspent convictions. This will help you to establish whether you need to address your criminal history when at an interview.


Rehabilitation Periods

Before we get into discussing the differences between unspent and spent convictions, it’s important to understand what a Rehabilitation Period is.

A Rehabilitation Period will be given to an offender when being sentenced to a crime. It is a set period of time, and when that time is up, the crime will be ‘ignored’. The length of the Rehabilitation Period will completely depend on the crime committed, but a rough guide can be found here.

What Is An Unspent Conviction?

If you are still in your rehabilitation period after committing a crime, then your conviction will be classed as ‘unspent’. An unspent conviction will show up on all types of DBS check (basic, standard and enhanced) and you could be prosecuted if you fail to disclose it when asked by an employer. As well as employment, unspent convictions will need to be disclosed when applying for mortgages, insurance, and so on.

What Is A Spent Conviction?

A conviction becomes ‘spent’ when the Rehabilitation Period of your crime has come to an end. Although spent convictions remain on your police record, you do not have to disclose them to most employers or on important documentation such as insurance. In addition to this, spent convictions will not appear on basic DBS checks (however – they will still show up on standard and enhanced checks).

Note: It is illegal to refuse someone a job because they have a spent conviction.

spent conviction

Telling Employers About Your Conviction

Now that you have a clear understanding as to what each criminal conviction means, it should become easier to establish whether you need to tell employers about your conviction or not. However, as a refresh, you do not need to tell an employer about your conviction if it is spent.

With this in mind, you will still be required to complete a DBS check when applying for certain jobs. An employer has every right to ask for this check to occur, no matter what conviction you have had in the past.

As mentioned previously, it is against the law for employers to refuse a job offer purely because of a spent conviction. They would have to back their statement up with other information found on a DBS check before refusing the job.

Although an unspent conviction, on the other hand, may lower your chances of being accepted for a job, this doesn’t mean that it will be the case in every situation. Many employers actively seek to help offenders get back on their feet, and other job specifications may not even require a criminal record check. If you are unsure, do not hesitate to ask them directly for application requirements.

How To Get A Criminal Record Check

Whether you are an employer wishing to carry out a criminal record check or past offender looking to see what comes up on your criminal record; doing so has never been easier. Here at The Check People, we make it incredibly easy for you to apply for a DBS check online. All that you need to do is get in touch and give us a few details.