Saturday 2 April 2016

Less ‘Yes, Minister’, More ‘Porridge’…

Rupert McNeil, head of the civil service, brags about his plans:
As I shared in my last blog, one of my priorities is ensuring that the Civil Service is a role-model employer in the UK that welcomes and champions all kinds of diverse groups. I am committed to promoting equality and valuing inclusion
Yeah, yeah. *yawns*
That’s why I am proud that the Civil Service is championing the Ban the Box campaign that aims to provide fairer opportunities for offenders to compete for jobs by encouraging employers to remove the tick box asking about criminal convictions from application forms.
Wait, what? You’re going to blind recruit?
As a senior leader in this organisation, I do recognise that we also have a duty of care to our staff and the members of the public that we serve. The Civil Service will still ask about criminal convictions during the recruitment process, but we will do this after the initial application form stage.
So….you aren’t going to blind-recruit at all. You’re just going to ask them after you’ve done half the work? Does that make sense? I suppose it does if you’re dim.

Like this idiot:
sandra— 12/02/2016 But if someone has a minor conviction going back many years why shouldn't they be given a second chance? I have never had a single conviction, caution etc my entire life, and it was hard enough for me to get a job - so how demoralizing, disheartening and heartbreaking must it be for someone who has wiped the slate clean and wants to start over again?
Oh, where’s my nano-violin. I suppose there’ll be hundreds of her colleaguies eagerly ‘me too-ing’ her to make sure they come across as good little civil service drones who…

Ken Fairbank— 12/02/2016
This motion to 'Ban the Box is totally mis-guided in my view, and an example of the warped sense of equality that seems ever more common in Government circles and elsewhere. When I grew up, you knew that getting a criminal conviction would have a serious affect on your job prospects - it was a deterrent, and one that worked. I agree that this is a dangerous and ill-conceived idea that sends out the worst of messages at a time when we need to be rebuilding a sense of social responsibility, not undermining it further.
Ian Smart— 12/02/2016
I have only just heard of this, there has been no consultation on this. I have been in the civil service 28 years and this is the worst idea I have ever heard of. It is vile. It is an insult to the staff and the public. What is the point of keeping your nose clean, resisting temptation often in difficult and adverse circumstances only to have someone say it does n't matter. I was proud to work in a service that had no one with a CRO number in it, in a contracting service we should be raising the standard not lowering it. And what of the public? Do you want to submit your benefit application or go to the Job Centre and it be a gaol bird examining your case. Do you want to work with these people who could have sold drugs, robbed houses and assaulted people? I don't. I feel both myself and my service has been degraded and I am very angry. What message does this send to kids - it does n't matter if your honest? We are in a recession and when things are difficult criminals should be at the bottom of the pile. Serve them right.
George— 12/02/2016
The proposal to "ban the box" is so palpably ill-conceived that one must seriously question the critical faculties of those who proposed it. The implication is that employers will ask job applicants for details about their previous convictions later on in the recruitment process. If the later revealed conviction(s) results in excluding the applicant from the job, as it would have done had it been revealed at the outset of the application, how can it possibly be argued with any degree of seriousness, that the later disclosure of the conviction benefits either the prospective employee or employer? The employee will suffer the disappointment (and possibly expense) of having their expectations dashed and the employer will have wasted their time processing that applicant; possibly at the expense of other worthwhile job applicants. Real inclusiveness can only be achieved by relaxing the law on previous convictions under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, under which, and subject to certain exemptions, there would be no requirement to declare previous spent convictions. If the government want to make a real difference to the lives of those who's career/life chances have been blighted because of previous convictions, then amend the legislation rather than proceed with a fudge which is clearly what this is.
Chris P— 12/02/2016
Sandra - both of my sons are law-abiding citizens. I don't see why they should be on a "level playing field" with someone who, as a matter of their own choice, is a thief or a thug. The former jailbirds have made their choice to put themselves above the law and others and there has to be some meaningful consequences for them. It's a about character not "mistakes". Once the general public and press get wind of this then the only outcome can be further reputational damage to the reputation of the service. Sure non-criminals can be disagreeable, and, fact is, I have worked with one or two who have been. But this looks like dogmatic nonsense.
CEO— 12/02/2016
I am perusing this blog with a mixture of bewildered astonishment and pure anger. The whole principle and dialogue surrounding matters of equality has spiralled out of control to almost cosmic levels. I do not consider myself " equal " to a person with a criminal history. I consider myself to be far, far above them. If you want to contradict me in this I'd be delighted and interested to know why.
Well, well, well. It seems that even the workforce can spot the flaws.

Why, then, can’t their oh-so-well-remunerated bosses?


Antisthenes said...

"Why, then, can’t their oh-so-well-remunerated bosses?"

Good question one that comes up time after time because government and the public sector so often gets it wrong. Your blog thrives on the fact they do and you reporting the fact will in it's small way I sure make someone some day do something about the appalling state of affairs.

My solution is to shrink the size of government and privatise most of the public sector. In one fell swoop reducing the number of things that government can cock up and making the public sector more accountable to it's customers and thereby motivating them to get things right. Of course the progressives who have instilled the culture of entitlement and dependency into society is never going to let it happen.

microdave said...

"Why do you want to join the Secret Service?"

Mac the Knife said...

Common Purpose anyone?

Lord T said...

One of the big problems is that most of the people employed by the government are pretty useless and would never make it in the private sector. They are effectively on the dole but are paid more than the unlucky sods who are doing non work that would be done much better in the private sector by an office junior at a fraction of the cost.

Anonymous said...

I have quite an extensive criminal record. I'm currently a qualified Probation Officer and have been for nearly 15 years. In that time I've helped many people turn their lives round. Don't judge a person by their darkest days!

Lord T said...

Anon, I believe you are an exception. I'd be interested in actually seeing stats on reoffending based on the crime committed.

Plus, I do a lot of government work and despite this edict I don't see them changing their requirements for clearances in most areas.

JuliaM said...

"My solution is to shrink the size of government and privatise most of the public sector. "

Spot on!

""Why do you want to join the Secret Service?""


"Common Purpose anyone?"

Oh yes!

"Don't judge a person by their darkest days!"

Some can indeed turn their life around. But this is an odds game. Why take the chance if you don't have to?