Three women convicted of killings are being employed at a York hotel as part of their rehabilitation, the Ministry of Justice has confirmed.
Travelodge, which gave the women the jobs, said it was a specific arrangement with the Askham Grange women's prison near the city.
Two of the women work as room cleaners and the third is a receptionist.
The Ministry of Justice said prisoners could be released to work only after they passed a rigorous risk assessment.
A Ministry of Justice spokesman confirmed newspaper reports that the three women had been allowed to work at the hotel in Piccadilly as part of a scheme to rehabilitate them.
The women were involved in the deaths of either a husband, partner or parent.
Jon Hendry-Pickup, Travelodge operations director, said the York Central Travelodge was one of many businesses in York supporting the government's rehabilitation programme.
He said: "The community-based scheme helps ex-offenders who present no threat, back into society in order to reduce reoffending.
"We employ three workers from this programme; two of them started early last year and one just a few months ago.
"They all have different roles and work separate hours at the hotel.
"As part of their rehabilitation programme prior to joining Travelodge, the individuals underwent a comprehensive training programme and did voluntary work at the Samaritans and Homeless Shelter.
"Travelodge does not discriminate and is a fair and progressive employer and has supported a number of nationwide government employment schemes such as the LEP programme - a scheme to get the neediest unemployed back to work.
"The workers from the rehabilitation programme are constantly assessed and have proven to be dedicated and hard working individuals.
"They are motivated to make a better life for themselves and should be given every opportunity and encouragement to succeed without prejudice."
A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: "Keeping the public safe is our priority.
"Prisoners may be released to work only after they meet strict criteria and pass a rigorous risk assessment.
"Only those assessed as representing minimal risk of escape or risk of harm to the public are eligible. This work helps to reduce the chance or reoffending.
"Equally, those out on licence following release from prison can only take up a work placement after a risk assessment and agreement from their probation officer."
Tim Linehan, from crime reduction charity Nacro, said: "Employing ex-offenders plays a vital part in reducing crime.
"Helping them become involved in the community is key to their rehabilitation and to reducing reoffending and making communities safer."
He added: "Nacro strongly supports employers who offer work to ex-offenders and we applaud Travelodge's stance in this case."