Telling Your Current Employer

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The information on this page will address the topic of telling your current employer that you are under investigation or have been arrested for a crime. At Next Chapter Scotland we advocate for openness with employers wherever possible. However, we strongly urge you to seek advice through your union or an independent legal representative, as each circumstance is unique. 

Do I need to tell my employer?

You will need to consider a number of factors when working out the answer to this question:

  • Are there clauses in your contract that require you to notify your employer?
  • Are you working in a regulated profession?
  • Are you working with children and / or vulnerable adults?
  • Is your work dependent on any form of licence / membership that may be revoked if you are found guilty of an offence?

If the answer to any of the above questions is yes, then it is very likely that you will be required to tell your employer immediately. It is also very possible, dependent on your circumstances, that your employer will be notified by the police. 

  • Is the information about your investigation or arrest likely to be in the public domain (e.g. in the press or on social media)?

If the answer to this question is yes, you may want to consider the potential benefits of telling your employer before they hear about it from someone else.

Your union or an independent legal representative will be able to advise on your specific circumstance.

What happens if I apply for a new job after I have a criminal record? Do I need to disclose this to my new employer?

Please visit our page on Writing a Letter of Disclosure for more information on this topic.


What if my family member or someone in my household is under investigation, arrested or charged with a criminal offence? Do I need to disclose this to my employer?

There are some circumstances in which the criminal conviction of a household member could directly impact your own employment. If you are working in a profession that requires either membership of the PVG Scheme or another type of criminal record check, it is possible that the information could be disclosed to your employer. Although it does not happen often, there are some situations in which Disclosure Scotland may decide that the offence of a household member is relevant and will therefore share that information with an employer. 

Your union or independent legal representative will be able to guide you in your own circumstances. 

A table with examples of appropriate language use
A table showing the notification periods for the various sentence types. Prison sentence of 30 months or more (including life), Indefinite. Order for lifelong restriction, Indefinite. Admission to a hospital subject to a restriction order, Indefinite. Prison sentence of more than 6 months but less than 30 months, 10 years. Prison sentence of 6 months or less, 7 years. Admission to a hospital without a restriction order, 7 years. Community payback order with an offender supervision requirement, The length of the offender supervision requirement. Any other sentence (e.g. a fine or admonition), 5 years.
Last updated:
February 24, 2024
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