Call to reform convictions system
The system which allows some criminal convictions to become "spent" needs to be reformed to help ex-offenders back into work, a charity has said.
Nacro, which works with offenders, is launching a campaign to change the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
The charity says the act, which introduced the idea of spent convictions, is now out of date and also out of tune with the Government's desire to get more people off benefits and back into work.
Nacro will present MPs with its Change The Record report which sets out its proposals to shorten the period of time before some convictions become spent and, therefore, do not have to be disclosed to employers.
It also proposes that the current limit beyond which convictions can never be spent - a two-and-a-half year prison sentence - be ditched.
Chief executive Paul McDowell said: "Around a quarter of the adult population has a criminal record.
"Outdated legislation and unlawful practices are preventing people from moving on with their lives and finding work.
"Research shows that getting reformed offenders into work can reduce re-offending by up to a half.
"Updating the legislation therefore benefits not only ex-offenders and employers, who gain valuable skills, but also the wider community."
Former Tory cabinet minister Jonathan Aitken, who was jailed for perjury more than a decade ago, is supporting the campaign.