From March 2014, the rules on ex-offenders or ‘spent convictions’ have changed in favour of applicants with criminal records, for the first time in 40 years. A prison sentence of up to six months becomes spent after two years, not seven. A longer sentence up to five years becomes spent after four years, not 10. Sentences of over four years still never become spent but a prison term of 2½ to four years now becomes spent after 7 years, instead of having to be disclosed for ever.

Ex-offenders – discrimination

There are no rules that protect ex-offenders from discrimination. Nine million people in England & Wales have a criminal record, which is a substantial part of the potential workforce. The Government has published guidance on the changes and an offenders’ charity has published a ready-reckoner poster.

Click here to see more on ‘spent convictions’