By Kieran Howells
As a society, we’ve established a very clear system of punishment for the 11million UK citizens who have been convicted for committing a crime at some point throughout their lifetime. However, even after a convict has repaid their ‘debt to society’, many still face significant prejudice when trying to re-enter the workplace and this makes securing a job all the more difficult.
Recruitment Grapevine recently reported on one harrowing example in which an anonymous candidate recalled stealing a book worth 99p two decades ago. And whilst the judicial system swiftly closed the case, his conviction continues to haunt him 20 years later. "I have committed no offences in the two decades since…but I have struggled to find anyone willing to take me on,” he wrote in a Guardian op-ed.
So, what can be done to change the perspectives of hiring managers in the recruitment process? Well, a campaign to challenge the widely-held prejudice entitled ‘Ban the Box’ (BTB) is swiftly gaining support through major advocacy groups such as Business In The Community (BITC) – the largest and oldest business-led charity in the UK. The international campaign aims to remove the tick-box that asks candidates to disclose whether they have a criminal record when completing a job application.