In a recently published study by the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice, the criminal record “tick box” commonly found on job applications was found to be redundant and discouraging to job seekers. Dr Beth Weaver of Strathclyde University carried out the study and has suggested that the criminal record declarations is not symptomatic of an applicants possibility of reoffending. Furthermore, the study illustrated the fact that many applicants with previous convictions are being disregarded without any consideration due to their conviction and more worryingly their positive attributes are being completely overshadowed by their past. Roughly 11 million people in the UK have a criminal record and the research shows 75% of employers admit to discriminating against those who do.
More positively, Virgin Trains and the Civil Service are among employers who have banned the criminal record declaration on job applications. Virgin have commented “there are better ways to talk to people about their offending background rather than just simply putting them off with a ticked box exercise”.