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Hiring someone to work with one’s organization includes a significant amount of planning from the manager’s side. The process of hiring is never an easy one because there are several factors to be taken into consideration. It is not always sufficient to hire a person simply because they were very impressive at the interview. Often, it is only after their interactions with other people that things can change.

Very often, individuals who came across positively are found to be difficult to work with or were responsible for suspicious or risky behavior later in time, which can hamper the work environment. That is why more and more organizations are opting to have a DBS check done before hiring people so that there is nothing important that they are not aware of.

DBS checks came into the picture with the merging of the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). All organizations that work with the elderly, children, and other vulnerable groups should mandatorily get DBS checks done by all their employees before hiring them.

Why do employers ask for DBS Checks?

The main reason why DBS checks are becoming more frequent is that in an online age, getting to know the person behind the screen is not as easy as it once was. With interviews going online, one does not encounter the person regularly and thus is unable to get a good idea about what the person is like. A good way to ensure safety in the workplace is to do a basic DBS check and see if the individual has a criminal record or any other indications to show that they should not be hired for the role.

Managers may sometimes even ask existing employees to get a DBS check. While this may not be grounds to fire employees having a few offenses in their past, it would enable the employer to keep track of those who might pose risk to the organization or who are found to be unsuitable to work with.

According to Government statistics, 2018-19 saw an increase in DBS checks by 28%. A total of 4.2 million Standard and Enhanced DBS checks were carried out, while 1.6 million Basic checks for people in England and Wales showed the increasing dependence of organizations on these checks. Depending on the position that the person was applying for, they would have to provide a varying range of tests to make sure everyone is on the same page.

When people have to apply for a CRB check, they can get it done with ease without even leaving their house. The checks are done online and depending on the information needed, they would be able to get through the process, while the platform coordinates with the right departments and gives them the information they are looking for.

How are people referred for barring consideration?

In the rare event that you get a DBS check and show up on the Barred list, you need to find out how that happened and accordingly implement processes to assist.

Individuals can be referred for barring consideration in the following ways:

• Cases of Referral – These cases come from employers, those who handle regulated activity, and other referring parties and are meant for potential barring consideration 

• Auto bar Cases – These are cases that are obtained from the Police National Computers. Auto bar cases are usually seen as ‘relevant offenses’ or ‘risk’ cases. Automatic Bar Referrals are of two kinds:

• Without representation: This is where the person committed a severe crime and can be added to the list without the opportunity for representation.

• With representation: Here the person is considered only if the test for Regulated Activity is satisfied and after adequate representation has been taken into account.

 • Disclosure Information Cases – In these cases of barring, the information is provided by the person appearing for the Enhanced DBS check for having a role in a regulated activity.

Is everyone forced to do a DBS check?

Every individual joining an organization does not need a DBS check but it is usually done based on the role of the person, their position, and a few other factors. Roles relating to finances, accounting, teaching, social work – these are areas that are compulsorily in need of a DBS check before hiring. Similarly, all medical professionals, including those involved in hospital administrative work or those privy to sensitive information need to have a DBS check done.

If you choose to volunteer or work in an organization that deals with sensitive information or vulnerable people, you will need a DBS check. But you need to see if the Basic check is the right option. Employers sometimes wish to have a more thorough Standard or Enhanced check done in such organizations to have a complete idea about the person they hire.

To get a DBS check done, an individual will need to provide their National Insurance Number, passport, driving license, and residential address of the past five years.

Labour Laws in the United Kingdom

Apart from the DBS checks, which are slowly becoming the norm, people going for a job should remember that they have every right to ask for a contract underlining the terms and conditions of their employment. Employees cannot modify these contacts after they sign them. Details to look out for before signing a contract include:

• Working hours per week

According to law, full-time workers should typically put in 35 – 40 work hours every week, but these numbers vary based on various circumstances. However, the maximum work time in a week is 48 hours though employees may choose to put in extra.

• Leave entitlement

Every employee is entitled to a certain amount of leave in a given year which usually rounds up to 28 days for those employed full-time.

• Notice period for termination

Another essential thing to look for is rules about the notice period. Individuals should receive a notice before they are expected to leave so that they can look for other options before landing high and dry. The notice period varies based on employment length. For instance, a person who has spent anywhere between a month to two years might be expected to give at least a week’s notice. On the other hand, people employed for more than 12 years with the same company would have a 12-week notice period.

For those heading to the United Kingdom in search of a job, keep in mind, the job market is working on getting back on its feet, but till then, the process for getting a job is not as simple as it once was. By being vigilant and knowing what to expect, you will sail through without too many worries.

(guest article)

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