REC becomes Ban the Box employer

The Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) has signed up to the Ban the Box campaign, committing to fair recruitment for people with criminal records. As a result, the REC will not ask questions about criminal records at the application stage of the recruitment process, but will ask the questions at a later stage.

Ban the Box is led by the charity Business in the Community (BITC), which found that three quarters of employers admit to discriminating against applicants with a criminal record. There are 11 million people in the UK with a criminal record.

Later this year, the REC will launch a practical guide, which we have developed with charities BITC, Nacro and Unlock, to help agencies with the recruitment of people with criminal records. This will outline steps they can take to ensure their processes are compliant, fair and inclusive.

REC chief executive Kevin Green says:

“Diversity and inclusion in hiring is critical for organisations who want to attract the best talent available. That’s why we want to tackle the issues that people with criminal records face when trying to find a job. The REC is proud to sign up to Ban the Box and we are improving our recruitment processes in line with this.

“The recruitment industry has a key role to play in supporting people with criminal records to get into work, so we’re helping our members put inclusive hiring at the forefront. Recruiters are in a unique position with the power to transform people’s lives, so they need to take steps to ensure their processes are fair and give everyone the chance to succeed.”

Business in the Community campaign director, employment and skills Grace Mehanna says:

“The people with criminal records we meet tell us how disheartening it is to know that employers see their past mistakes before even looking at their skills and talents. Even small details like taking a tick box off an application form or delaying questions about criminal records until later in the hiring process can make a big difference. The Recruitment & Employment Confederation is leading the sector in a more inclusive approach to recruitment. We’re pleased to support them to improve recruiter and employer practices and give more people a chance to turn their lives around through work.”


Notes to editors:

1. For more information, contact the REC Press Office on 0207 009 2157/2192 or An ISDN line is available for interviews on 0207 021 0584
2. Jobs transform lives, which is why we are building the best recruitment industry in the world. As the professional body for recruitment we’re determined to make businesses more successful by helping them secure the people they need. We are absolutely passionate and totally committed in this pursuit for recruiters, employers, and the people they hire. Find out more about the Recruitment & Employment Confederation at
3. Ban the Box calls on UK employers to give people with criminal records a fair chance to compete for jobs by removing the tick box from application forms and asking about criminal convictions later in the recruitment process. Find out more at