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12 Months of 2023: November

As we reach the end of the year, our 12 days of Christmas countdown revisits the key events of each month

In November, new rules meant fewer ex-offenders will have to disclose convictions, Elon Musk declared that AI will make all jobs redundant and an inquiry found weapons at a union office in Brighton.

Disclosure barrier to employment lifted for thousands of ex-offenders

A change in the law will significantly reduce the time people with criminal convictions are legally required to declare them to potential employers after serving their sentence.

Lord Chancellor and justice secretary, Alex Chalk KC, said this will remove barriers to employment after prison and lower reoffending levels.

He said: “Carrying the weight of life-long criminal records even after serving their time is a huge barrier for many offenders seeking to reintegrate into society and turn away from a life of crime.”

Under the previous rules, some offenders needed to disclose their sentences for the rest of their lives. 

Now, custodial sentences of four years become ‘spent’ after a seven-year period of rehabilitation, as long as no further offence is committed. The same applies to longer sentences for less serious crimes.

Custodial sentences of a year or less will only need to be disclosed for one year.


AI will end all jobs, Elon Musk says

Speaking at Bletchley Park AI summit, technology billionaire Elon Musk said no one will have to work once AI is fully developed.

Musk said: "We are seeing the most disruptive force in history here. There will come a point where no job is needed - you can have a job if you want one for personal satisfaction but AI will do everything.

"It's both good and bad - one of the challenges in the future will be how do we find meaning in life."

This contrasts prime minister Rishi Sunak’s previous assertion that AI at work should be considered a ‘co-pilot’ rather than a risk to jobs.

In a speech on 26 October, Sunak said: “It’s important to recognise AI doesn’t just automate and take people’s jobs. A better way to think about it is as a co-pilot.”


Samurai swords and nunchucks found in union office at ‘toxic’ facility

Weapons including a samurai sword, nunchucks and knives were found in a GMB office at a waste service facility which was searched following accusations of a toxic culture.

An independent inquiry reported racist, homophobic and misogynistic abuse at the site which is run by Brighton and Hove City Council.

The inquiry, which heard from 70 witnesses, also reported accounts of threats by staff to stab others, and GMB reps threatening to strike to avoid appropriate action from managers.

Other incidents reported included racist graffiti, misogyny against female managers and ‘catfishing’ gay staff on Grindr.


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