Changes to DBS filtering rules from 28.11.20 mean that employees need no longer disclose minor convictions


Employers should consider updating their recruitment processes and application forms to reflect changes to the DBS filtering rules.

In early 2019, the Supreme Court ruled on whether those found guilty of lesser offences or cautions need to disclose them when seeking employment involving contact with children and vulnerable adults.  The Disclosure and Barring Service requires past offences to be revealed in certain circumstances.  The Supreme Court considered the competing factors of protecting the public and the rehabilitation of offenders and found the rules to be disproportionate.

As a result of that finding, from 28 November 2020:

  • warnings, reprimands and youth cautions will no longer be automatically disclosed on a DBS certificate;
  • the multiple conviction rule has been removed.  Where an individual has more than one conviction, regardless of the offence type or time passed, each conviction will be considered against the remaining rules individually, rather than all being automatically disclosed.

The new DBS guide to its filtering rules is here: and also includes suggested wording for job application forms.

featured image