Mental health has had a much higher profile in recent years, with everyone from members of the Royal Family to sports stars raising awareness. Although the stigma of mental health has been slowly disappearing, it’s probably fair to say that people are still not as happy talking about mental health issues as they are about physical ailments. For many people recovering from mental health problems, the advice is often to get back to work or volunteering as a way of getting back into society and making a contribution. But what happens about disclosure checks? Can police information about mental health issues appear on a certificate?
Social media has been hitting the headlines again. Or to be more accurate, the things which people write on social media posts. Although #BeKind might be the hashtag of the moment, it won’t be long until people forget about being nicer to each other on Instagram, and many ho back to their old habits. Despite what many people think, the internet isn’t a space where you can do what you want, or say what you want. If you are prosecuted by the police for a posting on social media this could resurface in the future if you apply for a disclosure check in connection with a job or voluntary position.
In most cases, employers fund the cost of disclosure checks for their workers. But there is no law around this, and companies don’t have to fund the cost of the test. Many organisations see asking employees to fund the costs of their own checks as a way of saving money. But this cost-cutting is something associated with small businesses struggling to make ends meet surely? It’s therefore a bit of a surprise to find that many people working for the UK’s biggest employer, the NHS, are being asked to fund their own disclosure checks.
20 years ago, nobody had heard of “sexting”. Since then the number of smartphones in the UK has rocketed, with around 79% of all UK adults having access to one. In younger age groups, this figure is as high as 95%. As with everything technology related, the law has struggled to keep up to date with the rapid pace of change. A recent BBC Freedom of Information request showed that since 2013, there have been almost 4,000 cases of police investigations into sexting, where children under the age of 18 have taken explicit pictures of themselves and texted them to someone else. Shockingly, the youngest children investigated were just 7. Whether you’re a parent, a teenager or an employer, it’s important to understand the rules around sexting, and what could be shown on a disclosure check in the future.
Childcare is one of those topics which is never out of the headlines. Whether it is difficulty in finding school places, or the cost of nursery provision, there’s a lot to worry about. One of the more cost-effective forms of childcare is using a childminder, who cares for children in a family home setting. However, a recent report from Yorkshire highlighted a huge shortage in the number of childminders in the region. The main reason for the sharp decline in the number of childminders is the administrative burden they find themselves under.
Hackney Council in London has announced another crack-down on yeshivas, Jewish faith schools in the borough, many of which are operating without the correct paperwork. Legal battles have been ongoing between the schools and the council since 2013. Should parents be worried?
A recent audit of Councils in North Wales found that 25% of staff who should have had a disclosure check as part of the interview process didn’t have their certificate when they started work. Is this something which Council service users should be worried about?
Over a year ago, the government changed their rules about identity checking for DBS checks. Many organisations and employers are still not up to speed with the latest changes and getting it wrong could result in your application being rejected.
Is there anything we can’t do with our smartphones these days? As more of us start to manage our bank accounts, apply for official documents, organise travel and everything else, official agencies often struggle to keep up with the changes. Over the past few years, government services including the process for DBS checks has changed considerably, with the volumes of applications being completed online rising year on year. The latest announcement from the Disclosure and Barring Service sees the integration of DBS checks with a wide range of payment options, including Apple Pay.
Self-employment is on the rise, and a recent survey of young people aged between 16 and 21 indicate that more than 20% expect to spend some time working for themselves in the future. Many people have a foot in both camps, perhaps by working in an employed job part time, and getting extra money from freelance or casual employment. This form of flexible working is increasingly popular and has its own drawbacks and advantages. One of the main areas of confusion is about the process for disclosure checks for people who are self-employed.