Factsheet: Who are ex-offenders? Information for Employers

This factsheet for employers highlights the reality behind common assumptions made about people with criminal convictions, showing that not all ex-offenders pose a risk.

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Key statistics

  • 68% of all sentences handed down by courts are fines.
  • Only 7.9% of offenders are given immediate custodial sentences.
  • 72% of employers who had knowingly employed someone with a criminal record said they were equally or more trustworth than other staff.​

9.2 million people in the UK have a criminal record. There are many myths and assumptions about who makes up this ‘ex-offender population’.
The reality is that a variety of people could be excluded from the labour market because of a criminal conviction. Employers shouldn’t assume that people with convictions pose an automatic risk to the business.


This resource takes a range of assumptions in turn, providing statistics and examples that challenge them.  It highlights the case for employers to Ban the Box, in order to assess criminal convictions on a case-by-case basis and reduce the likelihood that they will exclude suitable, talented candidates.