In the UK, it’s the job of an employer to check that the people who are working for them are legally entitled to do so. If employers are caught with illegal workers in their business, they could face fines of up to £10,000 per worker. At first, it might seem quite simple to establish who is here legally, and who is not. But is it really as simple as that?
It’s never easy to know when the time has come to move an elderly relative into a residential care home. An ageing population means that more of us than ever are juggling a busy family life with looking after elderly parents, and there are more care homes than ever offering to look after our loved ones. So what should you be looking for when on a visit to a care home?
The list of occupations which require a DBS check is extensive. Safeguarding is a buzzword which you’ll hear a lot in connecting with DBS checking and it sums up very well what the system is intended to do – it’s about guarding the more vulnerable members of society, and keeping them safe. It’s also about checking up on the backgrounds of employees, identifying people who might be a risk to the business because of their past. If you’re inviting someone into your house to clean, or looking for a team of cleaners for an office are you allowed to check up on their past?
Employing a nanny is no longer the preserve of the rich and famous. Rising childcare prices in nurseries or at childminders can mean that hiring a full time nanny to look after your kids at home is a viable choice, especially for those with two or more children needing care. Hiring a nanny comes with extra responsibilities, as you’ll be classed as an employer and will need to take care of issues like tax and holiday pay. It does however give you greater control over how your children are looked after. Getting a great nanny isn’t as easy as it sounds though, as the best qualified and most experienced nannies are in huge demand and can command high salaries. One of the main sticking points for any parent considering employing their own nanny is how to go about getting a DBS check.
We don’t seem to have got our heads properly around the definition of “child” and “adult” in the UK. In many cases, adulthood starts at 18, when you can vote, drink, buy cigarettes, take out a credit card and live independently. Others define 16 as being an adult, as that’s the age you can leave school to go to college or into an apprenticeship, or get married. Those two years between 16 and 18 are most definitely a grey area – not really a child, but not legally an adult either. Those legal grey areas are particularly an issue when it comes to 16 or 17 year olds applying for work or voluntary roles which would require a DBS check.
As a society, we’re all a lot more clued-up on the importance of a rigorous DBS checking process to make sure that the most vulnerable groups in society are protected from exploitation. Recent scandals in the world of football and other team sports have thrown the spotlight onto the clubs and extra-curricular activities which our children do. If your kids attend a football club which is part of the FA, or an organisation such as Brownies or Cubs then there will be policies and procedures you can look at to reassure yourself about their Child Protection policies. For smaller, independent clubs and activities, it’s not always as straightforward.
Rules around disclosure checking and safeguarding are changing all of the time, and one of the most recent changes happened in July 2018 when the government announced that they were changing the “disqualified by association” rules. It’s a minor but important part of the legislation, and might have an impact on many hundreds of people who want to get jobs which require an enhanced disclosure check.
The NHS is the UK’s largest employers, and there are around 659,000 nurses working in hospitals and health centres up and down the country. Many nurses are involved in “bank nursing”, and this can be an attractive revenue stream for not only nurses but also other health professionals such as care assistants or pharmacists. Bank nursing isn’t the same as being employed full time though, and there are several important differences to be aware of before signing up to a bank.
The Metropolitan Police is one of the UK’s largest forces and covers most of Greater London. The Force hit the headlines recently when it was accused of cutting corners in its DBS checking process, with the inference that looser checks could be putting vulnerable children at risk. So what exactly has been going on?
The DBS checking system is constantly evolving and changing, and it can be difficult for both employers and workers to keep up to date with the latest developments. One of the most recent changes concerns the way in which employers have to check identity documents supplied to them right at the start of the DBS process.