Employers hoping to recruit new workers are being urged to remove the criminal record disclosure tick box from their job application forms, in an attempt to combat discrimination against those who have previously convicted of a crime.
The charitable organisation Business in the Community (BITC) has launched the ‘Ban the Box’ scheme and is trying to address the discrimination felt by job-seeking ex-offenders.
Figures have revealed that 9.2 million people in the UK have a criminal record, which is about one in every five people. Research also shows that three-quarters of employers use an individual’s previous convictions as a reason not to give them a job, stopping millions from taking advantage of potential employment opportunities.
BITC is backed by many large businesses in the UK (including pharmacy group Alliance Boots) and boasts Prince Charles as its president, ft.com reports.
Stephen Howard, BITC chief executive, told hrmagazine.co.uk that if individuals are stopped from re-offending and secure employment, they become positive contributors to their local community and economy.
Mr Howard said: “The ex-offender population includes a large number of dedicated, motivated and diverse potential employees, who continue to be excluded by blanket screening procedures or put off from applying for roles as they believe ticking the X puts them out of the running.”