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2. Recruitment procedures and policy development

Define a process for handling the discovery of a colleague's conviction by others

Develop a policy for addressing situations where a colleague's conviction is unintentionally revealed to others. Consider factors such as how the information was discovered, any damage done, safeguarding needs, and potential disciplinary actions against colleagues involved in the disclosure.

What does success look like?

  1. A clear policy for handling unintentional conviction disclosures among colleagues

  2. Strategies for addressing the consequences of such disclosures

  3. Procedures for safeguarding and disciplinary actions.

How would Offploy do it?

  • Train staff to be sensitive to such matters. You will already insist on staff training on a range of equality and diversity matters. In many ways a person with a conviction is similar to someone with an invisible protected characteristic such as sexuality or faith. If you are to nurture a culture of inclusion and acceptance in the workplace, you must ensure that colleagues are aware of how to handle the discovery of another colleague's past offences in a sensitive and appropriate way. It must be clear that there is a proper process for raising any concerns, and consequences for anyone who behaves in a manner that is inconsistent with your company culture and ethos.

  • Create a methodology for determining how the conviction was disclosed and by whom. This could involve discreetly interviewing the ex-offender and any witnesses to an incident. To safeguard their interests and well-being, consider interviewing off-site. Particularly in a small organisation it may be best to deal with matters off the premises to avoid unwanted speculation or comment.

  • Train staff to develop a process to ensure that everyone is safeguarded and that their needs are met. If a person’s offending past becomes widely known about in the workplace it is important to consider what protections may be required to ensure that the individual is not targeted. Practical measures may be required such as changing shift patterns or rotas to avoid the person with a conviction coming into direct contact with someone who has “outed” them.

  • Determine the damage done to the business, if any. Internal issues may be awkward for a business to handle but if the matter is raised externally e.g. in the local media, more consideration may need to be given to how to mitigate any damage to reputation, or preferably how to turn the matter into a positive. If there is a widely acknowledged and supported culture of inclusion and acceptance, any damage should be minimal and transient.

  • Review and update, if necessary, your disciplinary policy as public disclosure is a breach of DPA. It is always worth keeping policies under review and especially when an incident occurs. Provided that the subject of an unwanted disclosure has been honest with you as their employer, it would send a powerful message if you stand by them and discipline the individual who has triggered the disclosure.

Examples in Practice

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