In support of your current campaign in the Supreme Court this February, I would like to describe my case which is an example of how the law for individuals with more than one conviction falls foul of expectations when it comes to human rights and what’s fair. I have been trying to pursue a career in finance, but have been dismissed due to the two minor convictions I have. This has led me to live in constant fear of not being able to land a role in my chosen industry and now most certainly in the advisory segment of the business which is regulated by the FCA.
This problem is all because I have two minor convictions. The first was in 2004 when I was 17 years old for criminal damage to a phone box for which I received a fine and community service. The second was in 2012 when I was 25 years old for common assault after an altercation one evening between myself and another gentleman. I was informed that the common assault conviction was ‘protected’ (eligible for filtering) however, because I have two minor convictions they will both always show on my DBS criminal record check.
This has led me to feel very uncomfortable when filling out applications for roles in the financial industry and in some cases I have had to explain my convictions prior to criminal record checks, often leading to roles not being landed.
At the moment I am studying very hard for exams that will lead to regulated positions in the finance industry. These roles require standard DBS checks and therefore I would need to disclose my two minor convictions. This makes the process very difficult and will often mean that an employer will not wish to proceed with my application.
When will this nonsense stop! Even if the law changes for minor convictions, having to wait for over 11 years for it to be filtered is ridiculous. Justice has been done, I’ve paid the fine and more than suffered for my mistake.
I regret both instances. I wish I could turn back the hands of time to change the situation but unfortunately I can’t. I’ve done my absolute best to move forward and build a career but truthfully it’s not myself holding back my progress but these two minor convictions. When is the law going to change so that I can apply for a job without having the stigma of disclosing a criminal record. These convictions are not relevant to the jobs that I want to do but an employer will obviously chose the candidate without the conviction and mask it under the fact that the other candidate was stronger for the role.
I plead that the law does not destroy my future as it has many others who simply want to just get on with life.
Finally, I’d like to thank the volunteer that I recently spoke to when I rang the Unlock helpline. He provided me with more sound advice than any legal entity or online party that I could have found.
By Dennis (name changed to protect identity)
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