What is the Purpose of a UK Background Check?

Background checks are a standard procedure for several sectors in the UK, used to guarantee that the candidate is qualified for the position and has no criminal record. When an employer wants to hire someone, they usually request a background check to determine if the applicant has ever been arrested for a crime. This provides all the relevant information, such as the exact crime for which a person is being arrested, the dates of the arrest, the final verdict, and the sentence that was ordered. The goal is usually to find a candidate with no criminal record, but if one exists, the company must decide whether to approve it or not.

Some companies require that you have no criminal record or, at least, have not made recent arrests. Employers can check your criminal record regardless of the position you are applying for; this is called Disclosure and Prohibition Service (DBS) verification. The number of background checks a potential new employee has will depend on the roles and responsibilities of the position. Often, background checks are performed to ensure the integrity of the applicant before a job offer is extended.

Although it is possible to do a background check by yourself, UK legislation is complicated and requires a considerable investment of time, in addition to detailed knowledge of how to navigate UK databases and the differences between, for example, DBS verification and FCA verification. Fortunately, there are comprehensive solutions that help you effectively track your employees' background checks and ensure compliance with legislation. Just enter basic hiring information, such as salary and start date, and Rippling will take care of the rest, including performing a legally compliant background check and electronic verification of results. Background checks are normally used to verify the candidate's resume and employment application information.

A background check is performed to validate some of the information in the applicant's resume, such as name, work history, educational achievements, and certifications. Unfortunately, there's no clear answer to how long employers can wait to perform a criminal background check and investigate your right to work. It's important to determine exactly what type of information you want to verify or discover about your candidates, so you know what types of background checks you should request. A background check can avoid these problems by ensuring that the information in the candidate's resume and job description is accurate and up to date.

Depending on the checks carried out, the background check can reveal if a potential new employee is honest and trustworthy and if they can perform the functions proper to the position. Background checks can also be used to detect any potential risks associated with candidates, such as criminal records or poor driving records (if the position requires driving for the company). Finally, you are not allowed to request information that is outside the scope of background checks allowed by the UK government, and all information provided to you is confidential. This step-by-step guide will help you carry out law-compliant criminal background checks and other types of background checks when hiring employees in the UK.

Yes, it is legal and common practice to carry out background checks on independent contractors in the UK too; although these selection processes are usually not as extensive as those followed by people classified as employees.

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