Ban the Box webinar roundup: When and how to ask about criminal convictions

On 19th March we held the second in our series of Ban the Box online events. We focused on ‘When and how to ask about criminal convictions’; providing insight into the approaches Ban the Box employers are taking to ask candidates about criminal convictions.

Our speakers

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

  • Zara Crane-Davies, Recruitment Consultant, Working Chance

  • Leigh Victoria Jones, Resources and Planning Manager, Nacro

Why Ban the Box?

Nicola Inge opened the webinar speaking about the progress of the Ban the Box campaign to date. She shared the reasons why we’re encouraging employers to think about when and how they ask about criminal convictions. 

Nicola also highlighted when and how you can ask, if it’s not at the first stage of the application process.

Remember: It's not easy for someone to share their story

Faye Goldman, Communications Manager at Business in the Community, interviewed Zara Crane-Davies from Working Chance. Working Chance is a North London based organisation, supporting female ex-offenders into sustained employment.

Zara explained the support that she provides to candidates with criminal convictions to help them to disclose their convictions to employers. She reminded us that every individual is different, but each one of them wants to be given the chance to explain their past, then move on from it.

How Nacro banned the box

Leigh Victoria Jones shared the details of how Nacro has banned the box. She highlighted their reasons for making this change to their recruitment process as well as outlining Nacro’s new recruitment process.

Nacro asks about criminal convictions once candidates have been short-listed. Short-listed candidates are sent a form to complete if they have a criminal conviction along with guidance on how to disclose their convictions. This statement is discussed at interview and a risk assessment is carried out should the applicant be successful.

Nacro have kindly made their template forms available for you to download:

  • Declaration form for candidates applying for regulated roles where a DBS check is required

  • Declaration form for candidates applying for unregulated roles (most jobs)

  • Risk assessment form

Different approaches to Ban the Box

Ban the Box is different for every employer. Nicola closed the webinar with an outline of alternative approaches taken by other employers in the UK and states and cities in the US where the Ban the Box campaign originated. Each model ensures that employers are considering skills and abilities of candidates, before assessing the relevance of any criminal convictions.

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 respond to the disclosure of criminal convictions, 3 June

Interested in the Legal Stuff? Read about our first Ban the Box webinar with Christopher Stacey from Unlock, which takes you through the relevant terminology and legislation.

Further resources