Picture: Paul Gaskin at HMP Doncaster, one of the prisons run by Serco on behalf of the Ministry of Justice
Serco announces that it has signed up to the national ‘Ban the Box’ campaign from Business in the Community (BitC), which is creating a fair chance for ex-offenders to compete for jobs and bringing down the £15 billion a year cost of reoffending.
In signing up to the campaign, Serco has agreed to ban the tick box from job application forms asking about unspent criminal convictions across our UK operations and has committed to considering applicants’ skills, experience and ability to do the job before asking about criminal convictions. This means that candidates with a criminal record can now apply for jobs with us with the knowledge that they will be assessed on their ability to do the job before any convictions are fairly considered.
Paul Gaskin, Serco’s HR Director, UK & Europe, said: “We are firm believers that people should not be judged on the lowest point in their lives. Once someone has served their sentence they should be supported on their re-entry to society. Having a proper job is a key part of helping them find their way back and crucial to preventing reoffending and that is why Serco, as a key player in the Justice sector that manages six prisons in the UK, is proud to be introducing the ban the box initiative and help ex-offenders find employment with us in one of our many public service contracts.”
Jessica Rose, Business in the Community’s campaign manager said: “Two thirds of employers admit to discriminating against people with criminal records but the employers we work with recognise the skills and loyalty this diverse group of people can bring to their roles. Removing the barrier of a tick box can make all the difference to someone deciding to apply to your company or not and we need more forward-thinking employers to join the campaign to help stop the cycle of reoffending.”
In signing up to the national campaign from Business in the Community Serco becomes the latest employer working to help create a fair chance for ex-offenders to compete for jobs and bringing down the £15 billion a year cost of reoffending. Having a job can reduce a person’s chance of reoffending by up to 50%* and Serco is leading the way in offering people a chance to turn their lives around while helping to keep communities safer.
*The UK government’s own Social Exclusion Unit reported that ‘employment reduces the risk of re-offending by between a third and a half’, in its report ‘Reducing re-offending by ex-prisoners’ (2002)