Insight: UK Government to introduce changes to criminal records disclosure regime

London 12th November 2020 – According to a news story published on the government’s website, a Statutory Instrument will be introduced to amend filtering rules for what is automatically disclosed through standard and enhanced criminal record certificates by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

 

Employers use information gained from DBS Certificates as part of recruitment processes when considering candidate eligibility. There were 5.8 million DBS certificates issued in 2018-2019.

 

Initially introduced in July 2020, the Statutory Instrument will be debated in the House of Commons and the House of Lords later this year, prior to changes being implemented. It will amend The Police Act 1997 to remove automatic disclosure of youth cautions, reprimands and warnings. The ‘multiple conviction’ rule, which requires automatic disclosure of all convictions where a person has more than one conviction (regardless of the nature of their offence or sentence) will also be removed.

 

With a view to striking a balance between protecting the vulnerable whilst supporting individual reform, these amends will particularly benefit those with minor offences and childhood cautions. A corresponding Statutory Instrument has also been put in place to amend the disclosure scheme for certain sensitive roles under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975.

 

Safeguarding Minister Victoria Atkins commented on the changes – “By making these adjustments we will ensure that vulnerable people are protected from dangerous offenders while those who have turned their lives around or live with the stigma of convictions from their youth are not held back.”

 

For Human Resources professionals, the Statutory Instrument will change the results shown on DBS Certificates. These amendments will disregard information that is no longer seen as relevant or necessary to disclose to a prospective employer in a professional setting.

 

The news release can be found here on the Gov website.

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