Have you been convicted of a motoring offense, and are worried about what’s next? This article explains your job prospects after the fact…
Being convicted of a motoring offence can be life-changing, depending on the severity of the offense. It can lead to a fine, a driving ban, or even a prison sentence, especially if you end up hitting or killing someone.
Because of the severity of most of these offenses, it can also affect your employment. In this article, we’ll answer the commonly asked question, ‘will a motoring offense affect my chances of getting a job?’. Take a look…
The Stats Behind Motoring Offences
Thousands of motoring offenses are committed in the UK every year, and these offenses include:
- DUI (Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs) – a staggering 192,100 people are convicted of DUI in the UK every year
- Careless or dangerous driving
- Driving without a license
- Driving while disqualified
- Driving without insurance
- Traffic light offenses
- Driving while using a handheld mobile phone or device
In some cases, a motoring offense may be forgiven or resolved with a fine but, with more serious crimes and repeat offenses, the driver can expect to be disqualified. For example, driving whilst under the influence of drinking or drugs will almost certainly result in disqualification.
Finding Work After a Motoring Offence Conviction
Penalties such as a hefty fine or a lost license are certainly no joke but, for many people, a motoring conviction brings with it an even bigger concern. This might include the loss of a job or the inability to secure a new role.
Although this is a genuine concern, it doesn’t always have to be the case and, so, in this section, we’ll tackle the important question, ‘will a motoring offense affect my chances of getting a job?’
Yes, a Motoring Offense Will Affect Your Chances of Getting a Job
Some employers require all employees to hold a ‘clean’ driving license; meaning that they have no unspent convictions. Some industries which have a zero-tolerance approach to driving convictions are:
- Health care
- Government roles
Although this may sound alarming, it generally applies to more serious crimes and repeat offenders, and does not, generally, include spent convictions.
The 1974 Rehabilitation of Offenders Act was set in place to protect offenders from unauthorized disclosure of their crimes after a set period of time.
So, in many cases, spent convictions (i.e. those where the conviction is deemed historical) will not be disclosed to a potential employer. If you’re not sure whether your conviction is spent or not, you can check this with the police, or use this handy online calculator.
If your motoring offense has led to you being disqualified from driving then you will not, of course, be able to get a job that involves driving, such as a hauler, bus driver, or taxi driver. If, after a certain period, you regain your driving license, you may still be turned down for some driving-related jobs and, all childcare jobs.
Maybe a Motoring Offense Will Affect Your Chances of Getting a Job
There are a number of sectors that are happy to employ those with motoring convictions to a certain extent, as long as full disclosure has been made. For example, a bus company,
Stagecoach specifies that its drivers must have no more than six points on their license. However, candidates who have held their license for less than two years must have a squeaky-clean record with no convictions whatsoever.
What’s more, maybe surprised to learn that a driving condition won’t necessarily stop you from becoming a police officer.
Although your application will be rejected if you have a conviction for a serious crime, such as drink driving or death by dangerous driving, if the offense was minor, you may still get to add ‘PC’ to your name.
The police service vetting procedure will take into account the severity of the offense, how long ago the conviction was and, your age at the time of the offense.
No, a Motoring Offense Will Not Affect Your Chances of Getting a Job
The good news is that is a fair number of jobs that won’t penalize you for a driving offense and, some of these are:
- Retail work
- Office-based jobs (excluding some jobs in the financial sector)
Depending on the severity of the offense, you may also be able to secure driving work, although this tends to differ from employer to employer and sector to sector.
Declaring Your Motoring Offence During Recruitment
During the recruitment process, some employers will ask if you have any driving convictions. It’s really important that you are truthful about any convictions that you have, as a prospective employer is legally entitled to check your record with the DVLA for :
- The license validity dates;
- The categories of vehicle that the employee is entitled to drive;
- Whether or not there are any current endorsements on the license;
- Whether or not the employee is disqualified from driving.
Failing to declare your convictions may not only lose you the job – this may also affect any other applications that you make in the future.
Having the Courage of Your Convictions
While driving convictions should, of course, be avoided wherever possible, they don’t have to be the end of the world.
When applying for a job, first check that your conviction doesn’t automatically exclude you from the role as this would simply be a waste of your time. Be sure to fully disclose your convictions on your application and, where, appropriate, speak to the employer about these, including offering an explanation for any mitigating circumstances. Happy job hunting!