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Case study – Albert – My daughter shouldn’t have been Disqualification by Association due to my caution

Following receipt of a caution for ABH, Albert contacted our helpline as he was extremely concerned that his caution could affect his daughter’s current job. Albert stated that his daughter was working in a nursery and had been told by her manager that it was company policy that if any member of her household was arrested she had a duty to inform her employers. Albert’s daughter had disclosed details of the caution and was worried that she would be sacked.

We explained to Albert the the nursery were likely to be using Disqualification by Association (DbA) legislation which meant that anybody providing care for children up to and including reception age had to disclose the unspent cautions/convictions of anybody they lived with. Employees who met this criteria would need to apply for a waiver from Ofsted before they could continue working.

We reassured Albert that as his caution was spent immediately, the DbA requirements did not apply and should therefore have no impact on his daughter.

A couple of days later Albert contacted us again to inform us his daughter had been suspended from work and had been asked to attend a disciplinary meeting as the nursery believed she’d delayed notifying them of the caution. We advised him that as his caution was spent, and had been disclosed in error by his daughter, the nursery should disregard it.

We provided Albert with further relevant information and advice which we believed his daughter would be able to make use of at her disciplinary meeting.

Several months later Albert forwarded us a copy of an email his daughter had received from the nursery which stated:

“There is no entitlement for us to require you to share any information relating to spent convictions of family members.


In this instance, there was confusion due to a mistaken belief that your father’s caution was not spent, therefore, ought to have been declared. I sincerely apologise for this confusion.”

He informed us that his daughter had now returned to work.



This case demonstrates how nursery’s and schools are often unaware of the correct rules relating to ‘Disqualification by Association’. This can lead to incorrect decisions being made and employees and their families suffering months of stress and worry.

However,if you have a good understanding of DbA, it is possible to successfully challenge an employers decision.


Notes about this case study

This case study relates to Unlock’s helpline.

Names and details have been changed to protect the identity of those involved.

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