Over the past months since the Covid-19 pandemic hit, a whole Army of unpaid volunteers have stepped up to help their local communities in a multitude of different ways. Most of the volunteers help the NHS, but recent calls from the Children’s Commissioner for England has led calls for a similar scheme to support social care, in order to stop some of the country’s most vulnerable children from falling through the gaps.
The last six months has seen unprecedented change in the UK, with the covid-19 pandemic affecting almost all aspects of our lives. This is particularly true for employers, who have had to adjust to having more staff than ever working at home and trying to work out how to recruit and interview in a socially distanced way. Although not entirely absolving employers of responsibility over how they recruit, the government has relaxed the rules in some areas of the system in an attempt to help employers manage things digitally rather than face to face.
The idea of asking someone to drive a taxi or private hire vehicle such as a minicab is nothing new. We’ve all heard of London taxi drivers doing the “Knowledge” to get the right to drive the iconic black cab, and have seen the metal plates on taxis in other parts of the UK demonstrating that the car has been approved for private hire. Taxi licensing however isn’t something managed by government on a country-wide basis. Each local authority across the UK does its own thing and has its own process for approving people to work as taxi drivers. This has obviously led to inconsistencies, and so it’s hardly surprising that the government is trying to develop a more consistent approach.
The economy isn’t in a great place right now, and thousands of people around the country are either out of work, or worried that they are about to be out of work shortly. Employment scams are nothing new, but the scammers have seized on the anxiety many people are feeling around getting work. We’ve all heard the saying that if it appears too good to be true it probably is, but when you’re feeling concerned about paying the bills, it’s easy to take a chance. If you, or someone you know is looking for a job, then here are the top scams to look out for.
2020 has turned into the year of the Zoom call, with everyone turning to video conferencing technology to communicate when confined to home. Many clubs and activities have switched to offering virtual sessions, with others combining face to face meetings with smaller groups with online sessions for others. Many parents mistakenly believe that online is zero risk, but this is not the case. Several law enforcement and child protection charities have warned that exactly the same rules apply to online meetings as they do to face to face gatherings.
Most of the information online about the DBS focuses on the Disclosure part of the service, with people applying for Basic, Enhanced or Standard Disclosure certificates. But the full name of the body is the Disclosure and Barring Service. The “Barring” part of the description refers to the formal legal process for blocking someone from specific types of work. Most workers don’t understand what Barring is all about and how it works, let alone know how to make a referral about a colleague or employee.
The British education system is one of the world’s best, and an estimated 500,000 students enrolled in Universities in the UK are from overseas. This represents around 20% of the total number of students, and 55% of postgraduates. Students coming to the UK to study have to jump through a number of hoops before ever setting foot in a lecture theatre. Once they have negotiated a place on their chosen course, organised accommodation and got the right visa, the next job is looking into DBS checks. And this is when things get a lot more complicated for many foreign students.
Recent changes in the rules around DBS checks have put into legislation the types of offences which may be disclosed on an enhanced DBS certificate. These changes are part of a wider move to improve the job prospects of people who may have had minor criminal convictions in their distant past, but who have reformed and moved on. Rehabilitation legislation is nothing new; there has been legislation around since the 1970s which sets out how long it takes for an offence or caution to drop off the end of someone’s criminal record.
Nearly every aspect of our lives is regulated and licensed in the UK, and selling alcohol is no exception. If you want to open a corner shop selling alcohol, or run a licensed restaurant or pub, then you will have to be approved for a personal licence first. This isn’t just another paperwork formality; applications aren’t just rubber stamped and licences sent out in the post. You will have to satisfy the licensing authorities that you are a fit and proper person to be given the responsibility of selling alcohol to others.
It might sound obvious, but our name is one of the main ways in which we identify ourselves. A name is the starting point for applying for a passport, DBS check and any other type of identity document. It’s therefore worrying that a Freedom of Information request has revealed that 913 people with a conviction for sex offences have “disappeared” from police records after simply changing their names.