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Rehabilitation of Offenders

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New legislation has come into force which means that criminal convictions become spent after a shorter time, reducing the period that individuals are legally required to declare them to their employers. Section 193 of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 came into force on 28 October 2023. It makes the following changes on declaring custodial convictions:

Type of convictionPrevious length of time required to discloseNew length of time required to disclose
Custodial sentence of over 4 yearsNever spent7 years although certain offences are exempt and never spent including offences classified in the Sentencing Code as ‘serious violent, sexual and terrorism offences’
Custodial sentence of 2 ½ years - 4 years7 years4 years
Custodial sentence of 1 - 2 ½ years4 years4 years
Custodial sentence of 6 months - 1 year4 years1 year
Custodial sentence of up to six months2 years1 year

These new time periods are extended in the event of re-offending during the declaration period. Any new conviction attracts its own disclosure period and both the previous conviction and new conviction need to be declared until the end of the original conviction’s active period or, if later, the end of the new disclosure period applied to the more recent conviction.

It should be noted the time periods detailed above relate to offenders who are over 18 at the time of conviction. The period of required disclosure is altered (and slightly lower) where the offender was under 18 at the time of conviction.

Employers need to make sure any relevant forms and systems are updated to reflect the new time periods. These changes will not impact on roles where basic or enhanced DBS checks are required.