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Criminal record disclosure timescales reduced

On 28 October 2023 reforms under the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 amended the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 to shorten the length of time some criminal convictions must be declared to employers.

The changes reduce the rehabilitation period for less serious offences, provided no further offence is committed in that time and introduce a rehabilitation period for custodial sentences of over four years, which were previously unable to become “spent”.

The new criminal record disclosure timescales are set out below:

SentenceAdultsUnder 18’s
(Adult) Community Order/Youth
Rehabilitation Order
The last day on which the order has effectThe last day on which the order has effect
Custody of 1 year or less1 year6 months
Custody of more than 1 year and up to
4 years
4 years2 years
Custody of more than 4 years*7 years3.5 years