Criminal Records and vetting

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks

Particular occupations may have specific requirements for a DBS check to be undertaken before employment can be commenced.

The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 (SVGA 2006) sets out a system which is intended to prevent barred individuals from working in “regulated activity” with children and from working with adults in certain situations.

Those who are responsible for the management or control of regulated activity (typically employers or voluntary organisations) have specific obligations under the SVGA 2006.

For “regulated activities” with children and vulnerable adults click >>here<<

For the restrictions on participating in these activities click >>here<<

Self Disclosure

In other situations, an employer may wish to ask job applicants about their criminal record. They should be aware that under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, certain criminal convictions become “spent” after a set period of time.

Unless the role is covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975, the applicant will be entitled to hold themselves out as having a clean record after that time has expired.

For health services see schedule 1 part 2 paragraph 13.

Other forms of vetting

Employers should not vet an employee because their customers impose a condition requiring them to do so, unless they can satisfy themselves that the condition is justified.

For example, a customer may ask an employer which provides IT services to carry out credit checks on workers who will be temporarily placed with the customer. An employer should be satisfied that such a check is justified for the role in question before agreeing to carry it out.

See Information Commissioner’s Employment Practice Code: 1.6 Vetting.