Employment lawyers want more guidance on criminal background checks after new ruling
Employment lawyers have called for the definition of a ‘minor conviction’ to be made clearer in light of a new High Court ruling.
According to the High Court, England and Wales’ current criminal record disclosure scheme is not compatible with Article 8 of the Human Rights Act., which refers to everyone having the right to a private and family life. Liberty, a human rights organisation, brought the challenge to the High Court, reports recruiter.co.uk.
The ruling means that even in industries where background checks are required, such as education, finance and healthcare, employees with more than one minor conviction won’t have to disclose them for each new job they apply for.
Christopher Tutton, a partner at law firm Irwin Mitchell, said that not all employers know what is classed as a minor conviction.
“Given the present uncertainties, it will be practically difficult for recruiters to ensure that they are adequately vetting candidates, in a way which does not infringe the right to a private life,” he noted.
The latest figures from The London Teaching Pool (TLTP) reveal that since the beginning of 2015, almost 3,000 people with more than 8,000 convictions between them have applied for teaching jobs in London. This demonstrates how important it is for companies to vet prospective employees, especially when those workers will be working with children or vulnerable people.