Ex-offenders hindered by over-anxious employers

I am delighted that the NHS has been caught out over these illegal CRB checks (Personnel Today, 24 January). I have fought against this trend in my higher education organisation for quite some time.

There are several elements to this argument, but there is certainly a greater perception of risk than reality. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act is statute, and organisations shouldn’t breach it because they are overly anxious. How can any employer strive for equality of opportunity when it neglects to seek ways of opening up employment to ex-offenders? That’s what the Act is for.

CRB checks should only be undertaken for staff whose roles require unsupervised and regular access to vulnerable groups.

Laurie MacLeod

Policies officer

York St John University College

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