To protect the welfare of our staff and the local community, we follow careful procedures when recruiting new staff. We have a duty to protect vulnerable groups from harm and to safeguard their rights. Southwark has an offender aware culture that encourages good applicants and actively discourages offenders.

Disclosure & Barring Service

Certain posts require a disclosure check before you are cleared to start work. This is a check against information held by the police and government departments. It is used to help make safer recruitment decisions. Disclosures are provided by the Disclosure and Barring Service, an executive agency of the Home Office. This service enables us to check that potential employees do not have a history that makes them unsuitable for a particular type of work.

You will only be asked to apply for a Disclosure after a provisional offer of employment is made. It is most commonly applied to jobs working with vulnerable groups including children, or within a service area supporting these groups. You will be given further information if a Disclosure is required.

Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974

This Act sets out to help people who have been convicted of a criminal offence and have since lived on the right side of the law. In general, a person who is sentenced to no more than 2½ years in prison benefits from the Act if they are not convicted again within a specified period of "rehabilitation". If no further offending takes place during this rehabilitation period, the conviction is considered spent, and it may not have to be declared when applying for a job.

However certain posts are covered by an Exceptions Order to this Act, which requires applicants to declare all convictions, regardless of whether it is normally considered spent. You will be advised if your post is covered by the Exceptions Order.

Employment of People with Convictions

The council has a written policy on the recruitment of ex-offenders, which is available to applicants. Having a criminal record will not necessarily bar you from working with the council. A decision will be taken dependant on the nature of the position and the circumstances and background of the offences.