Spent convictions and the Data Protection Act

Posted on December 1st, by editor in Caring Times. No Comments

It is standard practice for a care home owner to ask potential employees for details of past convictions, including spent convictions. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) order 1975 allows care home owners to ask for information about spent convictions. Some care homes seek to verify the employee’s response by requiring the employee to make a “subject access request” to the local police. The job offer may be conditional on the employee lodging a subject access request, making it an “enforced subject access request”. On receipt of a request, the police must release details of all previous and spent convictions incurred by the individual. Enforced subject access requests to the police are frowned upon by the Data Protection Registrar but are permitted under Section 21 of the Data Protection Act 1984. This will change when the Criminal Records Agency (CRA) is set up under the new Data Protection Act passed in 1998, but not yet in force (1998 DPA). Parts of the 1998 DPA will come into force on M

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