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Court ruling gives employers access to more information

A recent court ruling by the Supreme Court means Police Forces can now reveal whether individuals have been acquitted of criminal charges when issuing information for enhanced record checks.

This decision establishes new guidelines for an individual’s right to privacy when applying for a job versus the need to protect public safety.

The case was brought by a man who the court identified as AR who was married with children. He was a qualified teacher and had previously worked as a taxi driver. In 2011 he was acquitted of rape. Following this acquittal, he applied for an Enhanced Criminal Records Certificate (ECRC) during a job application as a lecturer.

The ECRC contained details of his acquittal and AR objected to this on the basis that there was no conviction and it failed to give a full account of the evidence and how the jury came to its conclusion.

An ordinary criminal records certificate contains just the facts of any convictions, police cautions or their absence whereas an ECRC includes information which the chief constable decides ‘ought to be included in the certificate’.

Amanda Finn comments: “This judgement will give employers greater access to information about some employees and may influence whether they are employed by, remain with and/or progress careers within that organisation. Any employer who may wish to apply for ECRC checks is advised to consider these implications wisely.”

Amanda Finn can be contacted at