How being convicted of fraud can make getting a job harder

A fraud conviction can result from any kind of false representation, abuse of position or causing loss to someone else, in order to make a gain for either yourself or someone else. Fraud can range from lying on your CV through to embezzlement and everything in between, and it can affect your future job prospects.

Any previous fraud conviction must be considered when seeking employment because several positions are restricted and cannot be carried out by someone with certain criminal history.

Under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (ROA), most convictions are considered spent after 4 years, this means that they needn’t be declared. However, some job roles require disclosure of spent convictions, including: solicitors, accountants, many roles within healthcare, security, financial and civil service sector (for instance teachers) and jobs that involved working with children or vulnerable adults.

Employers should be aware of the law surrounding the disclosure of fraud offences and will make a judgement on whether a fraud conviction is relevant when considering a candidate for a position.

Companies will contemplate whether a conviction of fraud might pose a risk to the image of the company or whether the candidate could be a potential threat to other employee’s customers or the company itself. They will also consider the severity of the crime and whether there is a likelihood of recommitting.

Many employers will carry out DBS checks on all candidates, with checks ranging from basic, which is available to anyone in any position, standard, which is suitable for people being employed in trusted roles such as security, through to enhanced, which is only for those working with children or vulnerable adults.

Having a fraud conviction on your criminal record might affect your chances of being employed in a cash handling or finance role.

Applicants are advised to be honest about any history of fraud which might impact their suitability for a role, not doing so could result in further convictions or an impact on their employment. Employers should ensure that they are fully aware of any restrictions within their sector or industry regarding employees with a fraud conviction and carry out robust pre-employment screening to protect their company from potential threats, while ensuring that they do not unlawfully discriminate.

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