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Should Convicted Sports People Be Able to Compete Again?

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Should convicted sports people be able to compete again

I was asked to answer this question recently on our local radio station (BBC Radio Northampton). This was a topic on Helen Blaby’s lunchtime show where they picked up on the subject following the Oscar Pistorius case and, more closer to home, Sheffield United footballer Chedwyn (Ched) Evans.

The International Paralympic Committee have said that Oscar Pistorius will be able to compete in future events, despite his conviction. Here in the UK, Ched Evans has today been released from prison after serving a sentence following a conviction for rape.

The reason Helen was having this discussion was because there is a petition (of more than 140,000) signatures from football fans to Ched’s former employers, Sheffield United, to urge them NOT re-sign him after his release. The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, has also urged Sheffield United to, “think really long and hard", before re-signing Ched.

Have a listen to my interview and you will hear Helen asking me what my views and experience are on issues like:

  • What are the “norms” when hiring people with criminal records?
  • Does the seriousness of the crime have an impact on the convicted person’s ability to be re-hired or not?
  • The commercial issues that may outweigh any employment issues of considering to employ people with criminal records
  • When an employee has to disclose a conviction to prospective or existing employers
  • Can an employer dismiss an employee if they get convicted of a crime?
  • The existence of ‘good behaviour’ clauses in employment contracts, dealing with behaviour outside the work place

Please let me know any thoughts you may have of the interview once you have listened to it.

Ben Stanton, BBC Radio Northampton, Listen

Do you have any experience of convicted people returning to the workplace, or being denied re-employment? I’d be interested to hear about this and answer any questions you may have from an employment law perspective. Please leave a comment below, or email me direct on