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Employees should not be forced to disclose minor offences

ENHANCED criminal record checks for those who are carers or work with children are going too far, according to a new court ruling.

Two employees who were turned down for jobs because the checks brought to light old offences were treated unfairly, the Court of Appeal has found.

One was turned down for a job working with children and a place studying at university because of two cautions for bicycle theft when he was aged 11, a decade earlier. A second who had stolen a packet of false nails from a chemist and was cautioned nine years earlier was told she would not be considered appropriate to work to work with vulnerable adults.

In each case, the employers argued they were complying with statutory requirements imposed on them to ensure all employees are screened by means of detailed checks.

But the Court of Appeal has ruled that the law is “disproportionate” because it insists on a system where all convictions are disclosed to a new employer, rather than only more serious convictions.

The Government has said it will appeal against the judgement. This will mean it will now be considered by the Supreme Court, whose decision will affect how the law is to be applied in Scotland.

*The Glasgow Law Practice advises employers on their duties in relation to previous convictions. Contact