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Support for 'Ban the Box' campaign

Published 3rd December, 2014 by Neil Nixon

Support for 'Ban the Box' campaign

Carillion has praised Business in the Community's 'Ban the Box' campaign which has marked its first anniversary. Carillion was one of the first businesses to support the campaign which urges UK employers to remove the criminal record disclosure tick box from application forms, to end discrimination against job seeking ex-offenders.

Janet Dawson, Carillion's group HR director, said: “It is so important to maintain a steady flow of skilled, engaged people into our workforce and promote opportunities within our business to a wider pool of talent. Not having a criminal record tick box is one of the ways we meet this aim. Of course we want to monitor and manage the recruitment of people with criminal convictions, but we also want to show through our recruitment process that we give opportunities to different groups of people that bring alternative views and perspectives into the workplace. We're proud to be one of the pioneering companies to adopt Ban the Box.”

Catherine Sermon, employment director, Business in the Community, said: “Business has a huge opportunity and responsibility to make the workplace more accessible to talented ex-offenders that simply want to contribute their skills to society. Yet too many companies have an exaggerated fear of recruiting people with criminal convictions and a misconception that employing them is risky business. Removing the tick box doesn't remove disclosure. It simply moves asking about convictions to later in the recruitment process - assessing candidates on their suitability, skills and ability first. If just 5% of UK private sector employers removed the tick box, over a million roles would be more accessible to ex-offenders. We are urging many more employers to join the 24 pioneering firms who have committed to Ban the Box this year.”

Business in the Community is calling for employers to:

• Remove the tick box requesting information on unspent criminal convictions from online and paper job application processes.
• Examine recruitment policies and practices to identify how disclosure of criminal convictions can be moved further down the application process. Best practice examples are available at
• Publically declare their commitment to offering fair opportunities for ex-offenders to compete for jobs by registering as a Ban the Box employer at

It is not calling for any changes to the checks and processes that are legally required when recruiting for 'regulated' roles as defined by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), such as jobs with children or vulnerable adults.

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