TUC urges employers to give ex-offenders a new start

The TUC has launched a report
urging employers to give ex-offenders a fresh start in the New Year.

The report suggests getting
ex-offenders into jobs is a good way to reduce the chances of them
re-offending.

It also shows that many job
applicants have committed crimes but do not have a criminal record, with only 3
to 4 per cent of crimes against individuals and their property resulting in a
conviction or caution.

The study claims there are
cases where a criminal record can be relevant to a job, suggesting it is in an
employer’s interest to encourage voluntary disclosure so they can judge whether
or not this is the case.

It finds that blanket
discrimination makes it less likely that job applicants will volunteer this
information.

The report concludes that
ex-offenders are more likely to disclose their records if they are sure they
will have a fair chance of finding jobs they are qualified for, and where their
offence is not relevant.

"All of us are less likely
to be the victims of crime if we can help ex-offenders into work – it’s the
most effective way of preventing them from re-offending, said TUC General
Secretary John Monks.

He stressed that there is a
strong business case for fair treatment ñ with many workers with a criminal
record contributing to the success of their company.

"Unions have always
campaigned for full employment," he said. "This report presents
evidence that a high proportion of unemployed people have a criminal record. If
we want lower unemployment, then we must help ex-offenders into work. We know
that many ex-offenders have low levels of skills and qualifications and the
Government must tackle this as a priority."

The TUC guide employment and
ex-offenders
(ISBN 1 8500 6577 2) is available from TUC Publications
020-7467 1294 or at http://www.tuc.org.uk/exoffenders

 

By Ben Willmott

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