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Rehabilitation of Offenders

People working in the Isle of Man or applying for a work permit may be required to declare whether or not they have convictions. Here is information about how the Island's Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 2001 is applied.

Disclaimer: This information is intended for guidance purposes only. It must not be regarded as a definitive interpretation of the Act. For a definitive calculation of your rehabilitation period you are advised to seek professional legal advice.

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 2001 (the Act) allows persons to be considered as rehabilitated and hence not required to disclose 'spent' convictions for which the outcome was:

  • a sentence of less than 30 months in custody, and/or
  • a fine, or
  • a court order.

A conviction may become spent when a specified period of time has elapsed since the conviction was originally imposed. This period of time, otherwise known as the rehabilitation period, varies depending on a number of factors. Examples of these factors include:

  • the sentence, fine, or court order imposed, or the combination of these
  • the age of the offender, and
  • whether or not the individual has been convicted of a further offence during the rehabilitation period.

A quick guide to calculating the rehabilitation period has been prepared and can be found on the Calculation of rehabilitation page.

However, there are convictions which are never able to be considered spent, i.e. there is no rehabilitation period. These convictions are those which either:

  • attract a custodial sentence of greater than 30 months
  • attract a sentence of detention at Her Majesty’s pleasure further to section 8 of the Custody Act 1995 (detention of certain young offenders), or
  • attract a sentence of custody for life.

The Act also provides for exceptions to be made in certain cases so that all information regarding spent convictions must be provided, for example, when applying for certain professions, offices or permits.

These exceptions, detailed in the Orders (see downloadable documents), primarily relate to work in sensitive areas such as with children and vulnerable adults, law enforcement and the legal system, and high level financial positions. Exceptions also apply to certain legal proceedings.

Where an exception to the Act exists then the person applying must list all convictions, even if they are spent. The employer or licensing body will be eligible to apply for police checks containing that person’s full criminal record.

If the position is not subject to an exception under the Act then the employer or licensing body is still eligible to apply for police checks but only in relation to information on any non-spent convictions a person may hold.

Police checks may take place only with the consent of the person who will be the subject of the police check. However, the police may disclose information regarding a person’s criminal conviction(s) if they are required to do so in the course of their duties.

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