Commenting on a report published today by Onward, Unlocking a Better life, Christopher Stacey, co-director of Unlock, said:
“As things stand, although a prison sentence can end, the impact of a criminal conviction can be felt far beyond the conclusion of any sentence. People with convictions, and especially those leaving prison, face significant stigma and discrimination directly as a result of them having a criminal record and it frustrates access to employment long into the future. Many businesses are fearful of hiring people with a criminal record. 75% of companies admit to discriminating and not offering an applicant a job on the basis of them declaring a criminal record.”
“The government should recognise and champion those employers that are already employing people with convictions. Yet there are many more companies that need to be encouraged to change their recruitment practices to take on people with criminal convictions, and they need to be given the support to do so. So we would like to see the government pilot the use of financial incentives for those employers who actively employ people leaving prison, those on probation and those with unspent convictions. That’s why we welcome Onward’s recommendation that government should deliver on the manifesto commitment to give employers a national insurance tax break to employers who recruit people with convictions.”
Download the report by Onward.