How to Legally Perform an Employment Background Check in the UK

When it comes to hiring employees in the UK, employers must ensure that they are conducting a legally valid employment background check. This includes criminal records, credit checks, and work references. The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) verification is used to check an applicant's criminal record, regardless of the position they are applying for. This guide will provide step-by-step instructions on how to carry out a law-compliant criminal background check and other types of background checks.

The initial step is to get the applicant's consent. This must be done in writing and should include details of the type of background check that will be conducted. The applicant should also be informed of their right to access the information that is collected about them. The next step is to acquire the necessary documents from the applicant.

This may include a copy of their passport or driving license, proof of address, and any other relevant documents. It is essential to make sure that all documents are up-to-date and valid. Once all the required documents have been obtained, employers should contact the relevant authorities to carry out the background check. This may include contacting the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) for criminal record checks or contacting credit reference agencies for credit checks.

The results of the background check should then be reviewed by the employer. If any information is found that could affect the applicant's suitability for the role, then this should be discussed with them before a decision is made. Finally, employers should keep records of all background checks that have been conducted. This will help ensure that they are compliant with data protection laws and can provide evidence if needed.

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