"Ban the Box"

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RoseRodent

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"Ban the Box"

  • on: 11 Feb 2016 10:08PM
The campaign to remove the obstacles to employment for ex offenders are making progress at government level.http://m.heraldscotland.com/news/14262193.PM__Ex_prisoners_seeking_civil_service_jobs_will_not_have_to_declare_convictions/

Whatever you think of this, it's notable that under the same circumstances, people who have a record of previous sickness have no such protection. You don't always declare it on the form, but it's always part of a "medical" or the taking up of references. How did we arrive in a place where it's better to have a history of being a fraudster or car thief than a history of illness?

(This is the second such imbalance, with prisoners winning the right not to have to use slop buckets, but disabled people who need night care being told it's ok to be given incontinence pads instead)

Sunny Clouds

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Re: "Ban the Box"

  • on: 12 Feb 2016 05:24PM
Forgive my saying so, but the comparison you have made is not accurate. 

Firstly, sickness record is not of itself something that can't be asked unless it relates to disability.  It is only not asked at the initial stage because it is almost impossible to ask without indirectly asking about disability.  However, it is disability that is protected, not sickness.

Now let's turn to what is actually happening according to your link.

Currently:-

Employers not permitted to ask about disability until after job offer.
Employers permitted to ask about convictions before job offer.

In future:-

Employers not permitted to ask about disability until after job offer.
Employers not permitted to ask about convictions until after job offer.

Thus, people with convictions will not be in a better position, because unless they're spent, they will still have to declare them, if asked, before taking up a job.

Further, I think you are drawing another false dichotomy between people with a sickness record and people with a criminal record.  Your post appears to treat them as separate, whereas they are overlapping matters insofar as it is possible to fall into both categories.  Let me draw an analogy - you could be Black and disabled, White and disabled, Black and non-disabled, White and non-disabled.  Thus a direct comparison between Blackness and disability, whilst useful, would not show a complete picture.  Likewise between having criminal convictions and disability.

Thus not all people with a criminal record have no sickness record and not all people with a sickness record have no criminal record.

Thus looking at it from both directions, it is also equal, because people with a criminal record will not have to declare either their criminal record or a sickness record (attributable to disability) any sooner than those without a criminal record; and those with a sickness record (attributable to disability) will not have to declare either their sickness record or a criminal record any sooner than those without a sickness record (attributable to disability).

Finally, I want to address the issue of spent convictions.  It may seem unfair that some convictions don't have to be declared in some circumstances (although there are circumstances in which otherwise spent convictions must be declared), but then it is not the case that a disabled person with a sickness record arising from their disability or otherwise would usually need to declare it if they are no longer disabled in a way that would give rise to the likelihood of a future sickness record.

There may, for both groups, be questions about leaving jobs or about gaps in a career, but those issues face a lot of people for a myriad of reasons, and the same ways of dealing with such a career history is the same for anyone.

So whilst I would sympathise with the general proposition that disabled people should not be treated less fairly  than others, the provisions you linked to don't appear to advantage people with a criminal record over people with a sickness record (attributable to disability).
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

RoseRodent

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Re: "Ban the Box"

  • on: 12 Feb 2016 07:37PM
Yeah, you and I are fundamentally not on the same page as to what I'm saying. Not in the right place to go round again with another go at the explanation, but suffice to say not worth getting so irate about what I'm NOT saying.

Sunny Clouds

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Re: "Ban the Box"

  • on: 12 Feb 2016 08:41PM
I'm afraid I don't get your reference to being irate at all.  You raised a topic and gave a link.  You made a statement.  I disagreed with that statement, which I regarded as at odds with the information in the link you gave.  I stated that I disagreed and explained why.

Why responding to you with reasoned debate, arguing in rem not ad hominem is regarded by you as being irate makes no sense to me.


However, since you have started the discussion, I shall continue it given that others may wish to participate.

I can't think of any particular reason why people with a history of sickness should automatically be protected in any way.


Those whose history of sickness is attributable to disability have those protections in relation to recruitment that people have in relation to other aspects of disability.  However not all bad sickness records have anything to do with disability or, for that matter, simple chance.

To give an example, let us suppose that a potential employee has an atrocious sickness record because they participate in dangerous sports without appropriate safety equipment and training.  That would be a lifestyle choice that could affect their ability to do their job, and, IMO, reasonably affect the decision whether to employ them.

By contrast, they may have an atrocious sickness record arising from a condition that amounts to a disability for employment law purposes.  That then has very different connotatins, with a potential employer obliged to consider not only whether they are fit to do the job as it is, but whether they could do the job if reasonable adjustments were made.

Even then, simply because the sickness record arises from a disability doesn't oblige an employer to employ them, since it is not always possible for such adjustments as an employer could reasonably make to be sufficient.


(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Sunshine Meadows

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Re: "Ban the Box"

  • on: 14 Feb 2016 09:14AM
Rose,

I would like to read more about where you are coming from in your opening post, but can see how that might be too emotionally draining because the topic does seem simple at first then spirals out.

Many opinions including mine on allsorts of topics are formed without the indepth discussion found on some message board threads.

Writing makes me think more, and were we to be chatting over coffee I would probably respond saying yes I dont get why the government does not try harder to stop a lot of disabled people being prisoners in their own homes and lives.

I am for prison reforms and believe people can be rehabilitated. Years ago existing toilets were taken out of cells in some prisons because it was seen as making prison to soft and slopping out was part of the punishment. I can see how a parallel between slopping out and a disabled person having to wear incontinence pads can be made. It depends on why prisoners have toilets in their cells eg is it cheaper than having enough guards to supervise slopping out, or is the motivation to do with dignity.

The article does say,

Quote
Ex-prisoners looking for careers in the Civil Service will not have to disclose their past convictions when they first submit their job applications, David Cameron has announced.

The Prime Minister said he wanted to ensure that ex-offenders were not rejected for jobs outright before they had even had a chance to show their worth.

Disabled people are guaranteed a job interview if they meet the minimum criteria for the job.

Sunny,

My initial thought was the difference is a proportion of people who commit crimes and go to prison are expected to be reformed or at least not commit crime again because they dont want to go back to prison.Whereas a sick person cannot necessarily become well enough to have a good sickness recorded no matter what they do. reading the thread shows me I was over simplifying eg a person who plays contact sports can have a poor sickness record.

Your posts opened up the topic and multifaceted it is.