UK law requires employers to carry out checks on successful job candidates before they can begin work. But which checks are mandatory? What are you expected to do, and what’s off-limits?

DBS checks (formerly CRB checks)

If the job you’re offering involves working with children – and likewise if you’re in the healthcare industry – it is mandatory to carry out DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks before an appointment is made. However, in many other sectors this isn’t required, and it’s actually illegal to reject a job candidate on the basis of spent convictions.

Problems can arise if a job applicant is dishonest about their past, and as an employer you need to be sure of their integrity, but you must also be sure that any checks you run are legal. If you have any doubts about whether you should carry out DBS checks, contact our team of experts who will be happy to talk you through the ins and outs.

Right to Work

The free movement of workers has long been a political hot potato, and with the Brexit negotiations in full swing, the topic is unlikely to disappear overnight. Huge numbers of UK businesses employ foreign labour, and every one of them has a legal obligation to ensure that their workforce is above board.

Here are the facts: Employers are legally required to confirm that all of their employees have the right to work in the UK. You could be hit with a fine of up to £20,000 if you’re unable to show evidence of this, so it’s imperative to run your own background checks and only source workers from trusted suppliers.

Health checks

As a rule, you don’t need to carry out health checks on successful candidates unless the industry requires it by law (e.g. if you’re an airline pilot or lorry driver). However, you may wish to do so for a variety of reasons, and it is perfectly legal to run health checks if you obtain written consent from the candidate. The key point to note is that you shouldn’t discriminate with health checks – don’t check some people and not others, and don’t refuse people work on the grounds of disability if they’re fully capable of carrying out the role.

Don’t get caught out

Running checks at your own discretion is always a good idea if you’re within your rights to do so. Why? Because, as every employer knows, there are a lot of fraudulent applicants out there. Don’t get caught out – if you’re unsure about which checks you need to carry out, call Frontline today.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0
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