UK job applicants may not have to reveal previous criminal convictions following a landmark court ruling this week. The Court of Appeal said it was “disproportionate” to require people applying for work to disclose all previous records, including spent offences.
Home Secretary Theresa May immediately announced she would appeal the decision claiming it could put children at risk because it would be harder to screen applicants. “We are disappointed by this judgement and are seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court. The protection of children and vulnerable groups must not be compromised,” a Home Office spokesman said.
Delivering the ruling, the Master of the Rolls Lord Dyson said the system in place at the moment which requires the disclosure of all offences however minor was a breach of human rights. He said the current system was aimed at protecting children and vulnerable adults but “requiring the disclosure of all convictions and cautions relating to recordable offences is disproportionate to that legitimate aim”.
Currently, anyone looking to work with children or vulnerable adults has to disclose all convictions and cautions, including spent ones, under a Disclosure and Barring Service check. Lord Dyson recommended a “filtering” system to be introduced so irrelevant criminal records did not have to be revealed.
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