Ex Offenders: Ban the Box and employment

Employers often ask candidates about criminal convictions at the initial stage of a job application. This puts up a barrier to people with convictions, telling them you won’t give them a chance.

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Ban the Box calls on UK employers to give ex-offenders a fair chance to compete for jobs by removing the tick box from application forms and asking about criminal convictions later in the recruitment process.

Business benefits of Banning the Box 

Banning the Box is the first step to reducing reoffending through employment and brings a number of business benefits, including:

1. Access to a wider, more diverse talent pool

Ban the Box opens employers to a wide range of skills and experiences that can help to address skills shortages and support efforts to increase diversity. A government survey1 has shown that 81 per cent of businesses felt that employing ex-offenders had helped their business.  See our construction impact story 

2. Access to valuable employees

Organisations that actively employ ex-offenders say they make reliable, hard-working employees. One national high street brand reports an 83% retention rate for ex-offenders, much higher than for the rest of their workforce.

3. Saving on recruitment costs

Ricoh UK estimates each person it recruits directly through Ban the Box and its work in prisons saves the company £390.10. 

4. Reputational benefits

More than three out of four people think that businesses employing ex-offenders are making a positive contribution to society and would be comfortable buying from a business that employs ex-offenders

5. Responsible business credentials

Ban the Box is evidence of your positive contribution to communities and wider society. Employers bidding for contracts say this gives them a winning edge.

Don’t let a tick box put off potential talent.

Sign up to Ban the Box button





1. Gov.uk, Offender rehabilitation drive boosted by new ROTL rules

2. CIPD, Employing ex-offenders to capture talent, 2007.