How to Ban the Box

Ban the Box is different for every employer – there is no one-size-fits-all recruitment model. But there are four steps that every employer can take to Ban the Box in the right way for them.











These four steps will help you implement a fair and open recruitment process.

1. Understand your starting point

Before taking practical steps to ban the box, it’s important to fully understand the current approach that your organisation takes to ask about criminal convictions during recruitment. You may need to check with different business units and departments to build a complete picture of your organisation’s approach.

Download and tailor this template email to start the conversation about Ban the Box with your HR team.

2. Assess legal, regulatory and contractual requirements

Legislation in the UK defines the length of time for which employers can take a candidate’s criminal conviction into consideration during recruitment. Every business will have different regulatory and contractual requirements.

Use our technical guides to get to grips with current legislation and contact us with any questions.

3. Develop your recruitment process

There are various points during the recruitment process when you can ask about criminal convictions as an alternative to the application form. For example, you could ask after shortlisting, at interview, after you’ve selected the most suitable candidate, or after a conditional job offer.

Just remember to ask in a positive way that allows the applicant to explain or contextualise their criminal record and helps you to assess whether the conviction is relevant or a risk to the role.

Read our impact stories to find out when other employers ask about convictions.

4. Put ban the box into practice

Ban the Box can only work well when your colleagues and applicants are aware of the recruitment process and practices that you have chosen to implement. Whether or not you’ve made a significant change to how you recruit, it’s important to communicate that the business is committed to valuing skills over past mistakes.


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