Changes to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act came into effect on 10 March 2014, significantly reducing the period of rehabilitation.
There is nothing to stop employers asking job applicants or employees about their criminal record. Most convictions become “spent” if a person does not re-offend during a set period of time, the length of which depends on the penalty imposed. Subject to exceptions, once spent, an ex-offender can legitimately hold themselves out as having a clean criminal record. Generally an employee will not have to tell an employer that they had a 6 month sentence for burglary if the question is asked 2 years after their prison sentence ends, and they have not re-offended during that time.
However, spent convictions do need to be disclosed if the question is asked in order to assess suitability for an excepted occupation. There are over 70 excepted occupations including medics; lawyers; accountants; those who work with children or provide care services to vulnerable adults. Employers, or potential employers, can withdraw an offer or dismiss an employee if a person does not disclose spent convictions in such circumstances.
The new rehabilitation periods are as follows:
|Penalty Imposed||Rehabilitation Period|
|Absolute discharge||No period|
|Conditional discharge||Length of conditions in the order|
|Fine only||1 year from date of conviction|
|0-6 months custody||2 years from end of sentence|
|6-30 months custody||4 years from end of sentence|
|30 months – 4 years custody||7 years from end of sentence|
|Over 4 years custody||Never spent|
Statutory Increases from 6 April
Redundancy cap on a week’s pay for calculating payment increases from £450.00 per week.
Guarantee days per cap for lay-off or short-time working will increase from £24.20 to £25.00 per day.
SSP increases from £86.70 to £87.55 per week.
Statutory maternity pay will increase from £136.78 to £138.18 per week.
National Minimum Wage Increases
Adult Rate from £6.31 to £6.50
18-20 year olds from £5.03 to £5.13
16-17 year olds from 3.72 to £3.79
Apprentices from £2.68 to £2.73