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New legislation has come into force which will mean that criminal convictions will become ‘spent’ after a shorter time, reducing the period that individuals need to declare them to their employers. Section 193 of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 came into force with effect from 28 October 2023 and makes the following key changes to the previous position on declaring custodial convictions:

Type of conviction Previous length of time required to disclose following completion of sentence New length of time required to disclose following completion of sentence 
Custodial sentences of over 4 years  Never spent 7 years although certain offences are exempt and never spent including offences classified in the Sentencing Code as ‘serious violent, sexual and terrorism offences’ 
Custodial sentence of between 2 ½ years and 4 years 7 years 4 years
Custodial sentence of between 1 and 2 ½ years 4 years 4 years
Custodial sentence of between 6 months and 1 year 4 years 1 year
Custodial sentence of up to six months 2 years 1 year

These new time periods will be extended in the event of re-offending during the declaration period. 

The time periods of required disclosure are altered (and slightly lower) for each category where the offender was under the age of 18 at the time of conviction. 

Employers should review any application forms and interview questions to make sure that these changes are reflected. The changes will not impact on any roles where basic or enhanced DBS checks are required.

Find out how we can help.  Our partner, Jon Dunkley, heads the Wollens specialist Employment Department.  Contact him today for an informal chat, without obligation on 01271 342268 or via email at [email protected].