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Legislation Update – Rehabilitation of Offenders 

By December 19, 2023Employment

While the (not so) catchy title of this article doesn’t suggest an obvious link to employment law, it’s an update worth knowing for employers with regards to employees’ criminal convictions. 

It is generally known that such convictions become spent after certain periods of time, meaning that there is no legal requirement for them to be declared to employers. In fact, a new law has been introduced which means that criminal convictions now become spent after shorter periods of time and therefore reduces the time in which they need to be declared. 

The new periods for disclosure apply where the offender was at least age 18 at the time of the conviction. If the offender was younger than 18 years of age then the periods will be shorter. However they will also be extended where any re-offending occurs in the relevant disclosure period. 

The table below sets out the type of criminal conviction, the previous time periods during which disclosure was required, and the new periods which have been introduced by section 193 of the Police. Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022. 

Conviction sentence Previous disclosure period New disclosure period 
Custodial – more than 4 years Never spent 7 years with some exemptions for never spent convictions, i.e. terrorism offences 
Custodial – 2.5 – 4 years 7 years 4 years 
Custodial – 1 – 2.5 years 4 years 4 years 
Custodial – 6 months – 1 year 4 years 1 year 
Custodial – up to 6 months 2 years 1 year 

Employers should familiarise themselves with the above, in the event that any employees within or joining their employment have been subject to a criminal conviction with a custodial sentence. 

If you would like more information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team at

You can find more of the latest legal updates here.

Nicola Clarke

Author Nicola Clarke

Nicola is a solicitor specialising in employment law and HR matters, advising both businesses and individuals on all aspects of these areas.

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