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Finding out about convictions without the risk of prosecution
Under the Data Protection Act it is now a crime to ask someone to exercise their subject access rights to reveal data held about them by someone else and to reveal that data to another person. This means that you could be prosecuted if you ask an employee, a job candidate or a contractor, for example, to request and disclose information to you about their convictions and cautions.
Instead you should use the checks available through the Disclosure and Barring Service rather than forcing someone to make a data subject access request. Using a subject access request is seen as an unfair way for an employer to get more information than they are entitled to. This is because subject access requests don’t distinguish between spent and unspent convictions and so may result in disclosure of all personal information.
Nacro has just published a very useful and comprehensive document in collaboration with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) entitled “Recruiting Safely and Fairly: a practical guide to employing ex-offenders.” See www.nacro.org.uk for more information.
Posted on 19 Nov 2016


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