DBS Checks & Criminal Record Checks

Care Check is a leading umbrella body for the Disclosure and Barring Service and has been named one of the top 8 providers for criminal record checks in the UK.

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DBS Checks For Overseas Applicants | Right To Work UK

DBS Checks are a huge part of the recruitment process for a wide range of industries – think about it,  in July 2018 the Disclosure and Barring Service received over 295,301 applications alone. A DBS check on a potential employee is a crucial tool for employers, as they ensure that you’ll be making safe recruitment decisions that will safeguard your employees, business and customers.

There may be an instance when you’re applying for a job in the UK from overseas, or you’re looking to hire someone who has been living in a different country; this DBS check is a process that differs from UK-based applicants. In this blog, we’ll talk about how employees can obtain a check for applicants living abroad and UK-based applicants who live overseas.

How Should I Carry Out A DBS Check For An Applicant Based Overseas?

When it comes to giving an overseas applicant a DBS check, you should apply the same eligibility to them as you would to an applicant based in the UK, but the process for checking an overseas applicant will differ, because the check will not have the full picture of their criminal history (should they have one).

This is because the Disclosure and Barring Service does not have access to criminal records in other countries, and it’s unlikely for the UK Police National Computer to have any convictions that have happened while an applicant has lived outside the UK.

If you’re looking to employ an applicant who has recently moved to the UK, or has spent a long time living abroad, it is up to you to try and obtain a criminal record check from the countries they’ve been living in. This process will differ depending on the country, but you can find out how to get these checks from specific countries through the DBS’s list of countries from A to Z. For applicants who have lived in the UK and overseas, you should carry out a DBS check alongside the criminal checks from every other country they’ve resided.

You can find out if the prospective employee living overseas requires a DBS check through the government’s eligibility guidelines. If the applicant meets the criteria, it is your responsibility to obtain a criminal record check from those countries before they begin work.

How To DBS Check A UK Applicant Who Currently Lives Aboard

If you’re looking to employ someone who’s lived in the UK but is now living overseas, you should still carry out a DBS check and you can verify their ID documents through a live video link. However, you will still need to see the physical copies of the applicant’s ID so they should send them to you in the post.

Alongside this, you should bear in mind that if overseas applicants do need a DBS check, the recruitment decision must be made in the UK.

DBS Checks & Criminal Record Checks

Ensuring Workers Have A Right To Work in the UK

Businesses in the UK recruit new employees routinely, but regardless of organisation size or sector, all employers must ensure that any current or potential non-British employees have the right to work in the UK.

In order to fulfil this legal responsibility, employers must implement a right to work check on their staff prior to them commencing work within the company. This involves checking original documents provided by the job applicant so that their right to work can be established.

The right to work check is imperative to stop illegal working in the UK and it should be in the interest of any business that all appropriate checking is undertaken or else the employer is likely to face severe consequences.

If the government discovers that an organisation has been employing an illegal worker without completing a right to work check, they will be liable for a civil penalty. It is therefore advisable that if an employer has any reason to think that one of their staff members should not be working in the UK, they are, essentially, committing a crime and could potentially encounter a prison sentence of up to five years and/or an unlimited fine.

Employers must ensure they undertake checks on all staff. Many people often make assumptions about a person’s right to work due to the length of time they have spent in the UK, however, these assumptions can be dangerous so please treat every person in the same manner.

What Is Involved In A Right To Work Check?

  1. You must see the applicant’s original documents;
  2. Ensure the documents are valid with the applicant present;
  3. Make a copy of the document and record the date that it was recorded.

Please ensure that:

  1. All documents are genuine, original and unchanged and belong to the person that has produced the documents to you;
  2. The dates of the applicant’s right to work have not expired;
  3. The date of birth and photos should be consistent across all documents;
  4. The documents have not been tampered with;
  5. If two documents give two different names, the applicant has supporting documents showing why they are different, such as a marriage certificate or a divorce decree;

Once all documents have been seen, the employer is advised to take a photocopy of the credentials and they must keep the copy of these while the individual is working for the company – it should also be noted that an employer should retain the copied documents for two years after they have stopped working for an organisation.

What If An Individual Cannot Produce ID Documents?

If an individual cannot produce their ID documents, the employer must contact the Home Office to check the immigration employment status of the individual.

An immigration employment status would also need to be performed if an applicant has:

  1. An Application Registration Card OR
  2. A Certificate of Application that is less than 6 months old.

Please note that the documents listed above must state that the work the employer is offering is permitted because many of these documents do not allow the person to work.

Once the status check has been performed, the Home Office will send a ‘Positive Verification Notice’ to confirm that the applicant has the right to work in the UK.

If you have any questions relating to this topic, please call the Care Check team on 0333 777 8575.


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