Nacro, the charity for ex-offenders, has called for the introduction of a new licensing authority to stamp out discrimination as a result of criminal record checks.
The charity wants the government to urgently reform the way people with criminal records are treated in the labour market. It wants an independent authority set up which will hold ultimate responsibility for clearing people for employment.
While decisions to appoint in individual cases would remain with employers, such a scheme would give firms the confidence to take on people with criminal records who had been approved by an independent, accountable authority, it said.
A similar system exists in the private security industry. The Security Industry Authority (SIA) provides licences enabling ex-offenders with non-relevant convictions to work in the industry.
Paul Cavadino, chief executive of Nacro, said: “It is vital to have an effective system to protect children and vulnerable adults from those who are a risk to them. However, far too many people with past cautions or convictions for minor non-sexual offences are being unfairly refused jobs.”