Spent Convictions

Certain convictions are deemed “spent” under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 after the following periods of time (known as the “rehabilitation period” – the period is halved where the offender was under 18 at the point they were convicted) and accordingly, do not need to be disclosed to potential employers:-

  • Imprisonment: 2½ years or more – Never
  • Preventative detention – Never
  • Detention for life at Her Majesties Pleasure - Never
  • Imprisonment: less than 2½ years but more than 6 months – 10 years
  • Imprisonment: less than 6 months – 7 years
  • Fines – 5 years
  • Armed Forces: dismissal with disgrace – 10 years
  • Armed Forces: dismissal – 7 years
  • Armed Forces: detention re conviction – 5 years
  • Borstal – 7 years
  • Detention: less than 2½ years but more than 6 months – 5 years
  • Detention: less than 6 months – 3 years
  • Probation – 5 years
  • Mental Health Act Hospital Order – 2 years post cessation of order or 5 years, whichever is the longer
  • Absolute discharge – 6 months
  • Conditional discharge – 1 year post conviction or 1 year post cessation of order, whichever is the longer
  • Probation order - 1 year post conviction or 1 year post cessation of order, whichever is the longer
  • Binding over - 1 year post conviction or 1 year post cessation of order, whichever is the longer
  • Care order - 1 year post conviction or 1 year post cessation of order, whichever is the longer
  • Supervision order - 1 year post conviction or 1 year post cessation of order, whichever is the longer
  • Disqualification – the period of disqualification

When considering the above, the following also needs to be taken into account:-

  • A new conviction will have no bearing upon the rehabilitation period of an unspent conviction unless it is a more serious offence, in which case the unspent conviction will only become spent once the new conviction is spent if later than it otherwise would have become spent.
  • A conviction incapable of becoming spent also renders earlier unspent convictions incapable of becoming spent.
  • Two plus prison sentences handed down simultaneously by a court: if sentences concurrent, then treated separately with individual rehabilitation periods. However, if consecutive, then single term with one rehabilitation period.
  • In the following jobs, spent convictions must be disclosed: certain roles in the financial services sector, law enforcement, the prison service, the health service, private security, etc. Also, roles involving work with children, the elderly, and disabled.

Should you have more than 2 year’s continuous service with an employer (or 1 year's continuous service if employment with the employer began on or before the 5th April 2012) and you are dismissed as a result of a spent conviction, then you can bring a claim for unfair dismissal.

Settlement Agreements

Should you have been offered a Settlement Agreement (which used to be known as Compromise Agreements) which you require independent advice on, then please call one of our solicitors immediately on 07919 561266 or complete the questionnaire on the right hand side of this page. A solicitor will then arrange an appointment with you to go through the Settlement Agreement and advise accordingly.

How To Contact Us

To contact us about your employment law issue, please either telephone us on 07919 561266 or complete the short questionnaire above. Simply click the 'Send Now' button to submit the questionnaire once you have completed it. Upon receipt, it will be assessed by a solicitor who will then contact you to discuss your employment law issue.

The solicitor appointed by The Employment Law Solicitors to do this, will be a specialist in your type of employment law issue. As we take on cases from Manchester, Cheshire, Wilmslow, Liverpool, Lancashire, Yorkshire, and from throughout the UK, we will appoint an employment law solicitor local to yourself to assist you. We have offices all around the country.

The consultation is completely free of charge.