Urbaser Signs up to 'Ban the Box'

Urbaser Street Cleansing

Urbaser has joined the national Ban the Box campaign, opening up job opportunities across the UK for ex-offenders. The campaign, by Business in the Community, calls on employers to give ex-offenders a fair chance at employment by removing the tick box from job application forms which requires applicants to state if they have criminal convictions during the initial stage of application. Instead, Ban the Box employers now ask about this later in the recruitment process, once applicants have passed the first stages of screening. This change in approach helps to ensure that individuals with the right qualities, skills and experiences are given a fair chance in the employment process, based on their ability to do the required job.

Simon Pedersen, Head of Human Resources at Urbaser Ltd, said: “It is our aim to attract new employees from the widest pool of possible applicants. We wish to do this without prejudice or focussing on the mistakes people may have made in their past. At Urbaser, we are proud to be one of the 115 employers who have signed up to Ban the Box across the country and want to be able to give individuals a second chance at employment. It is our commitment to treat all applicants in a fair and equal manner.”

The benefits of employing ex-offenders are widely documented. Currently, high rates of reoffending cost the UK £15 billion per year. However, rates of reoffending drop significantly, by up to 50%, when ex-offenders are given employment. By Banning the Box, Urbaser is helping to positively contribute to the local communities in which we operate by providing fair employment opportunities to all who apply, as well benefiting the wider society by helping to reduce reoffending rates and associated costs.

Jessica Rose, Campaign Manager at Business in the Community, said: “There are 11 million people in the UK with a criminal conviction and when they try to find work or change jobs, they worry that employers won’t see them for who they are now but for the past mistakes they’ve made. Ban the Box sends a strong message that employers are interested in candidates’ skills, attributes and experience first and that they value diversity in their workforce. Removing the barrier of a tick box can make all the difference to someone deciding to apply to your company so we urge more companies to join our forward-thinking Ban the Box employers to help stop the cycle of reoffending.”