Why employers should stop discriminating against ex-offenders
Edwina Hughes discusses Business in the Community's campaign to "ban the box" that many ex-offenders are required to tick on application forms. Here, she explains the impact of the criminal record tick box and how employers that do not use it open up a wider pool of talent.
A tick box asking applicants about their criminal convictions is routinely present on job application forms, but the majority of employers do not appreciate its detrimental effect. Its presence alone can deter talented candidates with criminal convictions from applying. If ticked, it leads three-quarters of employers to discriminate against the candidate in question.
Employers might ask: "So what? It's only a few people and it doesn't affect me." The reality is that this is not a niche issue. One-fifth of the UK population aged 10 and above has a criminal record, meaning that at any given time a huge number of people have to tick the box if asked - immediately stacking the odds of employment heavily against them.