Barkers stands up for jobseekers with criminal records with Ban the Box

Commercial consultancy Barkers LLP has become the 100thcompany to sign up to Business in the Community’s Ban the Box campaign, creating a fair chance for ex-offenders to compete for jobs and helping to break the cycle of reoffending.

In signing up to the national campaign the North West company have joined 99 forward-thinking employers across every business sector including the Civil Service, Barclays, Boots, Freshfields and Virgin Trains who are bringing down barriers to employment, assessing people on their ability to do the job before any convictions are fairly considered.

Warren Kozera, Barkers Partner said: “At Barkers we’ve never had the box, we treat all potential employee as we’d like them to treat us and that starts with integrity. We are honest, open and fair. We have strong morals, underpinned by our code of conduct and our commitment to delivering social value. In our experience by demonstrating trust in all existing and potential employees, loyalty and commitment very quickly follow.”

As well as its commercial consultancy, Barkers runs Lifescape, a social enterprise providing grounds maintenance services across the North West and providing employment opportunities to ex-offenders. Whether candidates will be working for the commercial consultancy or the grounds maintenance service, they go through the same recruitment process.

Having a job can reduce a person’s chance of reoffending by up to 50%[i]and Barkers LLPis leading the way in offering people a chance to turn their lives around while helping to bring down the £15 billion a year cost of reoffending.

Jessica Rose, Business in the Community’s campaign manager said:

“Two thirds of employers admit to discriminating against people with criminal records but 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. I’m delighted to see more organisations with a range of roles seeing the benefits of Ban the Box and I hope that Barkers’ move leads to many more companies signing up across the North West.”

[i]The UK government’s own Social Exclusion Unit reported that ‘employment reduces the risk of re-offending by between a third and a half’, in its report  ‘Reducing re-offending by ex-prisoners’ (2002) http://www.bristol.ac.uk/poverty/downloads/keyofficialdocuments/Reducing%20Reoffending.pdf