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?
Self-Employed Domestic Cleaners
If you want to run a background check on a self-employed cleaner who is coming into your home to clean on a weekly basis, then you are unlikely to be successful. The DBS system lays down a very clear list of occupations where DBS checking is required and it is against the law to ask for DBS checks to be done for any other category of job. If the cleaner is self-employed, he or she can ask for a basic disclosure themselves, but this will only show any unspent convictions which the cleaner has. The only exception to this is when the cleaner is employed to do other duties alongside cleaning, such as personal care for an elderly relative or looking after children. If that is the case, they may be eligible for an enhanced disclosure through whichever agency is employing them.
Cleaners in Hospitals or Schools
Most roles in hospitals and schools will require some level of DBS checking, as cleaners will be going onto wards, cleaning operating theatres or clearing up mess in classrooms. The exact role will depend on the level of DBS checking required. For example, a school cleaner whose working hours are in the evening after children are long gone may only need a standard disclosure. On the other hand, a cleaner who is in and out of hospital wards throughout the day might require an enhanced disclosure. Hospitals and schools are recruiting people into these types of roles regularly and will be happy to give guidance to applicants on what type of check they need done.
Cleaners from Overseas
Many staff employed as cleaners in hospitals, schools, offices or our homes have additional issues with DBS checking, if required, as they’ve recently arrived in the UK. This type of work is a popular choice with people new to the UK as it’s widely available, requires little in the way of training and you don’t need to be able to speak good English to do a great job. If an applicant for any job which needs DBS has come rom a different country, they may be required to contact the police in their country of origin to obtain a police certificate which is equivalent to a DBS. Laws about releasing this information and the time for processing applications varies enormously between countries, and should be taken into account when applying for jobs.