Why It Matters

Why It Matters

0 Thousand

The number of unfilled vacancies in the UK
(Source: ONS, 2024)

0 Million

The number of people of working age in the UK with a criminal record – more than one in five.

£ 0 Billion

The approximate economic and social cost of reoffending each year, dominated by unemployed offenders.

We can address all these problems with just one change:

Fair Chance Employment

The Economic Case

Criminal records create a chilling effect on job applications. Afraid of a frosty reception, many people with criminal records – especially ‘unspent’ convictions* – choose gig economy, low-paid and cash-based work, or long-term unemployment, over repeated knock-backs at interview. And some re-offend, costing the UK £18bn a year (MoJ).

Meanwhile, the British economy faces twin labour market and productivity crises. We simply can’t afford to have skilled people under-employed.

* Unspent convictions are those that candidates legally have to declare if you ask them. Some offences take longer to become ‘spent’ – rehabilitated – than others, and some never are.

The Business Case

Multiple surveys and studies show people with criminal records – given the chance – work as hard or harder than their colleagues (e.g. MOJ), and stay in their roles for longer, lowering churn. Employers have recognised the importance of diverse and inclusive recruitment – it helps them reflect their market, innovate and develop new products, and attractive ethically motivated consumers with disposable income to splash.

Serious, successful businesses have made a public virtue out of hiring straight from prison. Murphy Group, Wincanton, Sodexo and countless others employ people with criminal records, and they’re thriving. And in case you were wondering, problems with reoffending at work are low level and few in number.

The Social Case

Stable employment, housing, relationships, and health are vital factors in reducing reoffending. In fact, people with convictions who land a job are around 23% less likely to commit further crime (MoJ).

Lower reoffending and a steady income means fewer absent parents, stronger role models for children and safer communities. Safer communities prosper – and spend more, fuelling economic and business growth in a virtuous cycle.

Getting just one person back into full-time work after a conviction is worth up to £24,269 in social value (Social Value Portal). And as historically marginalised groups, including racialised minorities, are over-represented in crime statistics, employing from this pool contributes to levelling up, too.

What a ‘Fair Chance’ looks like

A Fair Chance isn’t about preferential treatment, or ‘looking the other way’. It’s about answering this question: “So, you’ve paid your debt to society – now what?” and making sure employers can get the very best people working for them. Whatever their history.

If we believe in rehabilitation as a nation (and the evidence is we do) then we can’t continue to stop people who’ve made mistakes from being interviewed, employed and promoted on their merits. Risk management will sometimes mean taking an offending history into account, alongside evidence of the work they’ve done to rehabilitate.  But blanket rejections of a category of candidate mean we’re not always hiring the best people for the job. And that’s just not compatible with a healthy, modern economy.

Still need some more help?

Frequently Asked Questions

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Find out how Fair Chance employment could change your organisation.

Latest News

Havas Village Building Exterior, 3 St Pancras Square, King's Cross.
Events

Join the Fair Chance movement!

If you’ve been a co-creator of our employment charter, an active member of the pilot group or you’re still exploring how best to make a Fair Chance part of your intentional inclusion agenda, we’re looking forward to welcoming you to

Read More »
Business people connecting puzzle pieces
Partnerships

Collaborations latest

It’s been a busy few months at FCBA. We’re about to partner with Re-Generate and Kier as part of the West Midlands Employment Alliance pilot, thanks to the efforts of ReGenerate’s Director, Harry Brown. We’re in early discussions with the Department for Work and Pensions to

Read More »
Lightbulb moment
Partnerships

February: News in brief

Here’s some news you may have missed over the last few months while we’ve all be hunkered down for the winter… Strategic Advisory Board On February 27th we convened our inaugural Strategic Advisory Board with members from leading organisations. We’ll

Read More »
Scroll to Top