Basic Disclosure Certificates are issued by Disclosure Scotland so that employers can check unspent convictions.
Recently a significant change has been implemented which affects many people who have been admonished in court, Admonition is the lightest punishment that a sheriff can use and until November 2013, Disclosure Scotland aligned it with an Absolute Discharge which has a 6 month disclosure period under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
Unfortunately, an admonishment is not specifically mentioned in the 1974 Act or subsequent amendments, and technically it carries a 5 year disclosure period under Scots law.
15,000 admonishments are issued every year by Scottish Courts for low level crime usually where it’s not suitable to issue a fine or community order – often because of the individual is vulnerable.
The change in Disclosure Scotland processes means that the individual has to disclose their admonishment for 5 years which is disproportionate to any relevant risk requirement.
Recruit With Conviction has already spoken to one individual who has been explicitly denied work because of this change in procedure and we’ve no idea how many more people are affected.
We are gathering more evidence on the number of other people who are disadvantaged in the labour market by this change before we lobby the Scottish Government to make a special change for this in advance of the wider review of the 1974 Act in Scotland.
However this is an important consideration for any employability adviser in Scotland because so many individuals who are unemployed, also carry minor convictions. Please pass this information on through your Scottish networks.
Recruit With Conviction also provide specialist training for employability advisers. See Apply With Conviction for more details.
Note: Individuals who are under the age of 18 when they are convicted have a rehabilitation period of 30 months and if an individual also has an indictable conviction, then the disclosure period for an admonishment can be lengthened.