Brexit finally happened at the end of 2020, and the way in which we deal with Europe has changed significantly. One of the main changes from an employer’s point of view is around recruitment, with EU citizens no long having the automatic right to live and work in the United Kingdom. There is lots of information online about Right to Work, but even if someone does have the right to work in the UK, there is another level of checking which might be required. Many positions in the UK need a DBS check, or an inspection of people’s criminal records. British people who want to work outside the UK, or overseas workers who wish to work in the UK, will have to use an alternative path for their criminal records check.


UK Workers Going Overseas

DBS checks as offered by the Disclosure and Barring Service are only available for people taking up employment here in the UK. Only the least detailed level of checking, known as a Basic Disclosure, can be obtained for any reason. A basic DBS check only shows someone’s current, unspent criminal convictions and cautions. Depending on the position being applied for, this might be enough. If, however you are thinking of emigrating permanently to another country, or taking up a position in healthcare or education, then a more detailed check will be required. There are a few ways of going about this, and it will mainly depend on the country where you are hoping to work. For jobs involving children, an International Child Protection Certificate (ICPC) is the most commonly accepted paperwork, and the ACRO police certificate is used when applying for permanent residence overseas. Make sure you are completely clear about what certificate you need before starting applying for checks. ACRO offer a fast-track route to getting police checks, which is of huge benefit if you’re trying to collect together paperwork in a hurry for a new job.


Overseas Workers Coming to the UK

The situation for workers coming into the UK has become trickier since Brexit, with more hoops for employers to jump through. Prior to Brexit, workers from other EU countries simply had to show a passport to establish their right to work anywhere in the UK. Now, EU residents have to go through the same immigration checks as workers from anywhere else in the world. Employers must check visas as well as passport to ensure someone is in the UK regularly, and has the legal right to work.

Prior to Brexit, most people coming to the UK from overseas required a form of police check or certificate from their home countries and this requirement hasn’t changed. There is no point in running police checks on the UK police computer for someone who has never lived in the UK. Every country around the world has its own version of police record checking, so employers should be prepared to receive information in a range of formats. If the certificate isn’t in English, employers might ask for it to be officially translated, which can add to cost and cause further delay too.