The Corbett Network Employer Awards

The inaugural Corbett Network Employer Awards will be presented on June 12th 2019 to those employers who go above and beyond in providing meaningful employment opportunities for people with convictions. There will be two awards: one to a large employer and one to an SME.

The inaugural Corbett Network Employer Awards will be presented 12 June 2019 at the Houses of Commons to a large employer and SME (a business with fewer than 250 employees, and a turnover of less than €50 million/£45.12 million).

All Corbett Network members are encouraged to nominate one or more employers for consideration in one or both categories.

  • For obvious reasons – an employer cannot nominate itself to receive an award but can nominate another business that it works with, in one or both categories (e.g. a member of its supply chain).
  • All nominations should be emailed to (Microsoft Word document or PDF) by the closing date May 16.
  • Corbett Networkers can nominate several companies but each submission for an employer nominated in a specific category should be no more than two sides A4.

Employer Challenges

  • Many employers across a range of sectors are facing chronic skills gaps;
  • There has been a huge rise in criminal record checks being carried out by employers since their introduction in 2002 – over 4 million enhanced and standard DBS checks are carried out each year;
  • Some employers have often exaggerated fears about recruiting people with convictions;
  • There can be a mismatch between an employer’s ‘desired skills’ and perceived skills of ‘typical’ people with convictions;
  • A number of surveys indicate that people with convictions have a largely negative reputation among employers with no known experience of working with them;
  • Some employers struggle to understand the complex legislation that impacts upon the employment of people with convictions;
  • Some employers often lack the confidence and tools they would like or need to make an informed decision about a candidate with a criminal record;
  • A number of employers indicated they need practical guidance, operational support and training and policy support on understanding legal obligations and managing risk to effectively tap into this unique talent pool;
  • A number of excluded groups (e.g. BAME, Care leavers) are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system;
  • A joint legal briefing produced by Nacro and Dominic Headley & Associates (DHA) in August 2018 outlines that the key principles of ‘Ban the Box’ are now enshrined in law by the changes to data protection legislation.

However, a large number of employers large and small have recognised the very many positive benefits that people with convictions can bring to their business and have managed to successfully navigate any perceived challenges that recruiting people with convictions might represent.

Some have open recruitment policies and practices, some have created dedicated programmes or vacancies, some have put in place a range of mentoring/support initiatives so that people with convictions can continue to rebuild their lives while sustaining employment opportunities.

Nomination Criteria Guidelines

Corbett Network members who wish to nominate employers should outline how the employer(s) go above and beyond when providing opportunities to people with convictions.

Other than the requirement to submit your nomination in Microsoft Word or PDF, we are not prescriptive as to how you demonstrate your employer(s) are suitable for the award, but the Judging Panel will be assessing each nomination against the criteria below. Please note: CN members can nominate any number of businesses in each category.

Please note - We will apply the same criteria to nominations for both awards (Corporate Employer of the Year and SME Employer of the Year).

Inclusive Recruitment Practices: What is the employer doing, to create fair opportunities for people with convictions to compete for jobs within their organisation

Employability Initiatives: Aside from inclusive recruitment practices, what types of initiatives and support are being offered by employers, organisations and charities to help improve the employability of ex-offenders and/or reduce the stigma associated with recruiting ex-offenders?


Click below to download the application form