What To Do If You Get A Criminal Record Whilst Employed

Committing a crime, whether on or off the job and obtaining a criminal record can be a serious problem. However, it may be unclear as to whether this information is necessary to disclose to employers.

The following article explores when revealing this information is necessary and what you can expect to follow with regard to disciplinary action.

If The Contract Doesn't State You Have To

If your contract doesn’t state you have to inform your employer of any obtained criminal records throughout the term of your employment, it is still advisable to disclose this information regardless.

Like they always say, honesty is the best policy. Keeping an open and honest relationship with your manager is the best way to maintain trust and gives the employer a glimpse into your professional morals and standards.

If The Contract States You Have To

If you obtain a criminal record while employed and your contract states you must make your employer aware, it is your duty to inform your manager. It is vital that you do so at your earliest convenience to avoid any further consequences.

Failure to comply with this rule is a breach of contract and can potentially lead to dismissal and, in some cases, a further conviction. It is crucial to note that obtaining a criminal record may come with more implications than it first presents.

For example, if your criminal record involves the loss of your driving licence, but being behind the wheel of a vehicle is one of the main roles of your job, and you continue to do so without disclosing it to your employer, it is crucial to understand that each time you do so, you are breaking the law.

This not only means you are committing a crime by not informing your employer of the criminal record but breaking even more laws by keeping it hidden.

What Can Your Employer Do Once They Find Out?

Employers have the right to dismiss an employee on the grounds of having a criminal record.

If an employer feels that dismissal would be an unfair consequence for somebody who has a criminal record, they can decide whether or not a disciplinary course of action would be better suited. As each situation is different, it is at the discretion of the employer to use the appropriate course of action for the employee.

Employers will take several factors into account when coming to a decision. For example, the employer will review whether or not the offence occurred on or off the job to determine the correct consequence.

If you do not disclose a criminal record to an employer, and there is a possibility that your job role requires regular checks such as a DBS check, your employer will still be able to view this information.

Committed the Crime On The Job

If committed on the job, a crime would need to be very minor in order to avoid disciplinary action. Many actions serious enough to be considered a ‘crime’ will lead to disciplinary action.

An employer can review the severity of the offence and make an informed decision based on how it will affect the company moving forwards.

Committed the Crime Off The Job

Crimes that have been committed off the job lead to consequences that aren't as straightforward as disciplinary action.

Depending on the nature of the crime, employers will need to make a decision on the next steps by considering the safety of themselves and other employees as well as the reputation of the company, for example, fraud, sexual offences and theft.

These crimes, in turn, could lead to dismissal on the grounds that you cannot be trusted to work within your role any longer.

Can Police Disclose Information to Employers?

Police are able to disclose to employers whether they have arrested or cautioned you for a crime. Despite this, they should only do so when they have implemented their own professional judgement and believe you may be a risk to the public.

Following this, police are entitled to retain this information on their database for a significant period of time for future employers to request should the need arise, for example, appearing on an Enhanced DBS Check.

What Should You Do if Your Employee Reveals a Crime?

If you are an employer and an employee has disclosed that they have obtained a criminal record or executed a crime, you are well within your rights to begin disciplinary proceedings.

It is crucial to consider the effect the member of staff will have on the rest of the team ad what this will do for the image of your company, even if this means excluding them from their daily duties until more information can be released.

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