Candidates with a criminal record can now apply for jobs at Whitespace Group with the knowledge that they will be assessed on their ability to do the job before any convictions are fairly considered.

In signing up to the national campaigning from Business in the Community we join more than 160 employers, including the Civil Service, Boots and Ricoh, who are creating a fair chance for ex-offenders to compete for jobs and bringing down the £18 billion a year cost of reoffending.

Having a job can reduce a person’s chance of reoffending by up to 50% and Whitespace Group is leading the way in offering people a chance to turn their lives around while helping to keep communities safer.

Mary Cole, Managing Director at Whitespace Group, said: “Whitespace Group are delighted to support this worthwhile initiative.  Judging all candidates on their skills and suitability for a role first, rather than their past mistakes, broadens the pool of talented individuals we can pull from.  It’s fairer and more inclusive – something that we feel aligns with our objectives.”

Kate Carr, Business in the Community’s Campaign Manager, said: “Two thirds of employers admit to discriminating against people with criminal records by the employers we work with recognise the skills and loyalty this diverse group of people can bring to their roles.

“Removing the barrier of a tick box can make all the difference to someone deciding to apply to your company or not and we need more forward-thinking employers to join the campaign to help stop the cycle of reoffending.”

Through signing up to Ban the Box and considering whether, when and how to ask about criminal convictions, employers can play a vital role in keeping people out of prison while gaining access to a large and diverse talent pool.

About Ban the Box

Business in the Community’s Ban the Box campaign calls on UK employers to remove the tick box and ask about criminal convictions later in the recruitment process – putting an end to the unfair discrimination of ex-offenders. To date, more than 145 employers with a combined workforce of about 918,000 have signed up to the campaign, including the entire Civil Service, The Ministry of Justice wants to see all companies Ban the Box and the employment of ex-offenders in the public and private sectors.

Ban the Box calls for employers to:

  • Remove the tick box asking about unspent criminal convictions from job application forms.
  • Publicly commit to considering applicants’ skills, experience and ability to do the job before asking about criminal convictions.

It is not calling for any changes to the checks and processes that are legally required when recruiting when recruiting for ‘regulated’ roles as defined by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), such as jobs with children or vulnerable adults/ For a full list of Ban the Box employers, visit:

About Business in the Community

Business in the Community, part of the Prince’s Responsible Business Network, is a business-led membership organisation made up of progressive businesses of all sizes who understand that the prosperity of business and society are mutually dependent. They exist to build healthy communities with successful businesses at their heart.

The organisation uses Responsible Business Map to guide members on a journey of continuous improvement, working across the whole responsible business agenda. From community engagement to employment, diversity and the circular economy, they offer expert advice and specialist resources, driving best practice by convening, sharing learning and recognising great performance across our influential network of over 700 members, including over half the FTSE 100.