Ban the Box webinar roundup: How to Ban the Box with Alliance Boots, Freshfields and Southbank Centre

On 23 September we continued our Ban the Box online events series with the session How to Ban the Box. We showcased three employer case studies, each highlighting how and why they have implemented a recruitment process that considers applicants’ skills first before assessing the risk and relevance of any criminal convictions.

Our speakers

  • Nicola Inge, Work Inclusion Campaign Manager, Business in the Community

  • Juliet Holden, Corporate Responsibility Executive, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

  • Richard Buxton, HR Director, Southbank Centre

  • Alison Latham, HR Manager and Jon Hardy, Senior Project Manager, Alliance Boots

Thinking about Ban the Box? What should you consider?

Nicola Inge opened the webinar with an overview of the Ban the Box campaign, highlighting the business and social case that inspired the campaign.

Nicola provided a summary of the legal and regulatory background and terminology related to employment for ex-offenders. She explained that, for most roles, it’s up to the employer to decide when and how to ask applicants about unspent criminal convictions. She raised a number of key questions that employers should ask themselves to decide on the recruitment process that works for them.

Ban the Box for a regulated industry

Juliet Holden shared Freshfields’ experience of implementing Ban the Box across all roles at the law firm. Following a long-term commitment to supporting disadvantaged groups into employment through the firm’s community investment activity, the next step was to ensure that all roles were open to the best talent – regardless of background or circumstance.

By asking the right questions and accessing the advice and support they needed to create robust policies and procedure, Freshfields have created a recruitment process that focusses on talent without increasing risk to the firm.

Reflecting our values in how we recruit

Richard Buxton spoke of Southbank Centre’s commitment to Ban the Box, as part of a wider commitment to increase access to the arts for everyone. Signing up to the campaign is one element of their approach to remove barriers that many face when building a career in the arts.

Richard shared the consultation process that Southbank Centre undertook in order to implement Ban the Box in under two weeks. Now, there are no barriers to ex-offenders applying for roles and no additional risk has been created for this public facing organisation.

Extending responsible recruitment to the supply chain

Alliance Boots highlighted how Ban the Box has been part of a wider shift in responsible recruitment by the company and its supply chain.

Alongside changes to their own recruitment process, Boots have convened a group of representatives in their supply chain to support, encourage and give them licence to recruit people with criminal convictions if they are the right people for the job.

Want to know more?

Get in touch if you have banned the box, are planning to, or would like support to do so.

Register for the next webinar in the series: How to Ban the Box on 27 November.

For roundups of previous webinars as well as other resources to support you to Ban the Box, visit the Ban the Box resource bank.