Reforms update driving endorsements – our thoughts but not legal advice.
This story has more twists and turns than a whodunit crime drama. The MOJ Guidance(1) explains a bit more detail about the driving endorsements.
This technical guidance implies the following absurd scenarios:
Joe is convicted for stealing a car and gets a speeding endorsement at the same time, he gets a fine and a driving endorsement. The fine would normally be spent after a year but under new legislation, the driving endorsement would hook on to that car theft conviction so if would not be spent for 5 years.
Jane was convicted for shoplifting which is related to her drug problem and she received a Drug Treatment and Testing Order for 6 months which she completes. She completed the order and turned her life around and the conviction was due to become spent 12 months after the order but she picked up an endorsement for speeding just before this was to become spent. This endorsement has a 5 year rehabilitation period and hooks her unspent conviction for a further 5 years.
In reality the way that endorsements are recorded on police systems are inconsistent and it is unclear what data and algorithms will be used in producing Basic Disclosure Certificates – therefore practicalities of disclosure are inconsistent with the legislation. Disclosure Scotland have now agreed to issue basic certificates in England and Wales which only show unspent convictions with the changes applied.(2) We have asked them more questions and will update you when we get answers. In the meantime the best solution is to use Basic Disclosure Certificates (if you are in any doubt) to define disclosure requirements for jobs which are protected by the ROA1974 Act. The best practical advice in the meantime is that some endorsements will show up and hook unspent convictions for 5 years but they usually won’t.
The legal advice on this is complicated and inconsistent and the mess will not be easy to rectify.
Basically the motor insurance industry was concerned because the original reforms reduced the requirement to disclose most driving endorsements to 1 year.
ROA 1974 gives people the right to be free from most discrimination including insurance discrimination on the grounds of spent convictions but the insurance industry uses endorsements as a risk proxy for 5 years – which would have been illegal.
So Schedule 2 driving endorsements(3) were given a 5 year rehabilitation period for which there is a degree of logic – but that’s where the logic ends
For practical training to help people with convictions to get and keep a job the Apply With Conviction Training for advisers wraps evidence based practice around the relevant legislation.
3. Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 Schedule 2 offences include speeding and refusing a breath test.