Skip to main content

Ban the Box: What is it, and how can employers help

When your business is looking for new hires, what kind of questions do you ask? Previous experience, work history and training might all be necessary, but Ban the Box says skip the question about previous convictions.

What is Ban the Box?

Ban the Box is an initiative started in the US, and was launched in the UK in 2013. The aim of Ban the Box is to ask employers to get rid of the tick box on application forms, because so often those with previous convictions are unable to get past the initial stage of the recruitment process.

This campaign has been promoted by Unlock, a national independence advocacy charity.  They’re seeking to eradicate barriers like the convictions box, which routinely stop people with criminal records being able to find work. According to Unlock, ‘the best way we can help people is by changing the system that creates prejudice, stigma and discrimination for people with criminal records.’

For people with criminal records, applying for work is a process which is fraught with anxiety and stress. Disclosing a criminal record to a potential employer, as well as applying for an enhanced DBS check or security clearances can be incredibly difficult, particularly when convictions are from years prior. 

Often, employers can disregard those with criminal convictions automatically, with no regard for the individual’s circumstances, and how they have changed since the conviction. These barriers to accessing stable employment can have a huge effect on individuals’ mental health, as well as their financial situation. 

Ban the Box is just one way that Unlock are hoping to get those with criminal convictions past the initial application stage, and into an interview with an employer, who can then see the applicant as a whole person, rather than just a tick box on a page.

How can employers help?

If you want to help those with convictions find work, one of the easiest ways to do this is remove the tick box asking applicants whether they have any criminal convictions from your application forms. 

This allows all applicants a fair chance, and to compete for opportunities that they have the experience and the training for. Businesses like Virgin Trains have banned the box, specifying that candidates will not be automatically excluded from their job opportunities. 

Employers can also help by making it clear when they expect an applicant to disclose convictions, rather than expecting candidates to disclose voluntarily. Communicating to candidates specifically the level of checks that are being done is also a way to improve your recruitment process for those with convictions. The wording that employers use is also important, and allows employers to collect the information they need, and comply with the law.  

Want to know more?

Unlock have specific training for employers who would like to better understand the law, as well as help to support people with convictions into employment, volunteering and education. If you’d like to find out more, you can see their upcoming online events and workshops here.

Tweet us @TranscenditUK


The Transcendit Way

Transcendit understand that when you choose to work with us, whether we're taking care of your IT, app or web development, you're trusting us with part of your business. So whether we're looking after your computers, phone systems or servers we always do things 'the Transcendit way'.

The whole of our team adhere to the same values, beliefs and policies - the principles that were written when Transcendit first formed in 2000. Whether you come to us for cloud services or recovery backup you can be confident that you'll always receive the same excellent service.

The Transcendit way outlines how we do business; following the same straightforward principles with every client and customer, regardless of how big or small they may be.

That means we get to know you and your business. We offer you a friendly, professional and efficient service, and we'll always be honest with you.
We understand that not everybody speaks fluent IT, so we try to explain things in a way that is simple and clear. We always spend as much time as is necessary explaining things to you.
If you need to talk to us about something, no matter how insignificant, we are only ever a phone call away – and we’re never too busy to make you a cup of tea and have a sit down with you in person.
We understand how frustrating it can be when things are late. When we schedule an appointment with you, we are there when you’re expecting us. If something prevents us from getting there, we always call you in advance to let you know.
Sometimes things can go wrong, but we never lie to you or try to cover something up. If things go askew we tell you what’s happened and how we plan to prevent it affecting your business.
We want you to continuously benefit from working with us. We regularly discuss your business and make suggestions for improving systems and processes wherever we can – but we never try to push you into a purchase.
When we quote a fixed price, that's always the amount we charge – you won’t find any nasty surprises on a bill from us. If you are paying by time and materials, we inform you if our approximations could change.
We understand the importance of privacy for your business and your customers. We respect the confidentiality of your data, and we will never pass on your information to third parties.
We appreciate it when you take the time to give us feedback. A system called CustomerSure records our client's responses, so you can trust that our reviews are from real people.
Find out what they're saying here.
The usual 1st class service that I've come expect as the norm! Dave Wales, Chirmarn

Based on 9849 reviews our customers rate us 9.8/10. Reviews and ratings by Customersure. 27-August-2021

Transcendit are proud sponsors of CHUF, the Children's Heart Unit Fund.

Transcendit is a Living Wage employer