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Time frame for disclosing ‘spent’ convictions to employers has become shorter

disclosing spent convictions

In line with the recent implementation of Section 193 of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022, significant changes have come into effect regarding the disclosure periods for individuals with custodial convictions. The amendment, which came into effect on 28 October 2023, aims to shorten the duration during which workers are obligated to inform their employers about such convictions. 

Adjustments to Time Frame for Disclosure ‘Spent’ Convictions

The primary adjustment involves a reduction in the duration that individuals are required to disclose their custodial convictions as follows: 

Conviction  Previous length of time required to disclose for  New length of time required to disclose for 
Custodial sentence of over 4 years  Never spent  7 years (Some offences are never spent such as those classed as ‘serious violent, sexual and terrorism offences’ in the Sentencing Code.) 
Custodial sentence of 2.5 years – 4 years  7 years  4 years 
Custodial sentence of 1 – 2.5 years  4 years  4 years 
Custodial sentence of 6 months – 1 year  4 years  1 year 
Custodial sentence of up to 6 months  2 years  1 year 

 Where an individual reoffends during the disclosure period, the subsequent conviction will have its own disclosure period. Both convictions must then be declared until the end of whichever period is the latest. 

It is important to note that this amendment applies to individuals who are aged over 18 at the time of their conviction. Lower disclosure periods are in place for those who are under 18 at the time of their conviction. 

Employer Action 

This change requires employers to immediately adjust their internal processes, ensuring that they update any relevant forms and systems accordingly to align with these new disclosure periods. These adjustments, however, will not impact roles that necessitate basic or enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks. 


For support in reviewing and updating your internal processes, please feel free to contact us.

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