Recruiting people with conflict-related convictions - Employers' Guide

This guidance is for all employers in the public, private and voluntary sectors. It has been developed by a working group co-chaired by Sir George Quigley and Nigel Hamilton and comprising representatives of Government departments, the Irish Congress of Trades Unions, the Confederation of British Industry and a representative group of ex-prisoners. 

It fulfils the commitment to the ex-prisoners’ constituency in the Good Friday Agreement and also the commitment given more recently by the Government in the St Andrews Agreement.

The guidance is designed to assist employers follow best practice in recruiting people with conflict-related convictions. Those are convictions arising directly from the most recent period of conflict in Northern Ireland. Generally, they are offences listed in the relevant schedules to the various Emergency Provisions (Northern Ireland) Acts pre-April 1998.

The guidance is not meant to be comprehensive, nor is it meant to deal with every eventuality. The Government recognises that the transposition of the agreed principles underpinning the guidance will be for employing organisations and their human resource professionals.

In summary, the basic principle arising out of the main report by the working group is that any conviction for a conflict-related offence that pre-dates the Good Friday Agreement (April 1998) should not be taken into account unless it is materially relevant to the employment being sought. Below is a simple, step-by-step guide to be followed by employers in dealing with job applicants who have conflict-related convictions.

Last updated: 25 October 2023