The offer is always conditional on good references and CRB checks. I disclosed my conviction at interview and was offered the post. The references are excellent and my CRB has never been aproblem in this field for 15 years.
Can they have a blanket zero tolerance policy on one type of conviction?
I am afraid they can. Whilst the Rehabilitation Act exists to try and prevent such occurrences, it only requests that employers do not consider spent convictions, etc - it does not actually allow affected employees to claim against the employer in these circumstances. So if the employer has ignored the ROA then sadly the law does not allow the employee to take the matter any further. Also there are exceptions to the Act - it does not apply to all employment scenarios, there are areas, such as those dealing with children or vulnerable adults, to consider all past criminal history, regardless of whether it is spent or not. This is not discriminaiton from a legal point of view - it may seem like a draconian policy but it is not unlawful
I gave up one position and declined another on this job offer, with the interviewers knowing about my conviction and making the offer after interview. can this not be challenged? Surely they should have been aware of this blanket policy which would have prevented the offer being made? Financially i am going to be well out of pocket until i get another job.
What is your contractual notice period in this job, if the employer was to dismiss you?
No notice, its via an agency.
Sorry do you mean you were going t be an agency worker?
Yes, that's correct
As an agency worker you have rather limited rights unfortunately, less than if you were a permanent employee – you are simply employed on an as needed basis, meaning that you have no guaranteed ongoing employment with the client with which you are placed. You are not legally protected against unfair dismissal and you could be removed at any time and for more or less any reason. As this situation is not discrimination as far as the law is concerned you will not get any protection in the circumstances so unfortunately you would not be able to challenge this. It is more of a moral argument that you have, but not a legal one I’m afraid
I'm sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you wanted to hear but I hope you understand I have a duty to be honest and explain the law as it actually stands and sometimes this does unfortunately mean delivering bad news from time to time. Please let me know if you need me to clarify anything.
That's fine, thanks. It helps me put closure on the situation. Can you answer one more question and i will sign off.
Can they put a blanket policy in across the whole council re not employing anyone who has committed benefit fraud, regardless of the circumstances or when it happened?
yes they can - this is not unlawful, it is not discrimination as it does not concern one's personal characteristics, such as age, gender, race, religion, disability etc