The Supreme Court has held that there was no breach of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the right to privacy) in circumstances where an enhanced criminal records certificate included details of an individual’s acquittal on a rape charge.
The certificate had been issued in relation to job applications for work as a teacher and subsequently as a minicab driver. Unlike standard certificates, enhanced certificates can include details of unproven allegations where the police consider the information relevant and that it ought to be included. In this case, it was held that the reference to the rape acquittal had been reasonable and proportionate and no more than necessary to secure the objective of protecting young and vulnerable people.
Why this matters
The inclusion of unproven allegations in an enhanced certificate is almost certain to impact on an individual’s future career prospects. Unfortunately, there is no clear guidance on how employers should deal with such information disclosed. The Supreme Court expressed concern about the consequences of the enhanced regime, but it remains to be seen whether this will result in the government taking further action in this area. In the meantime, employers are likely to continue to adopt a cautious approach to information received.