Getting a job should mean an improvement to your cash flow, right? Well in the long term that is usually the case. However in the short term, applying for new jobs can involve shelling out on new clothes for interview, travel expenses to get there and time off from your current job if you don’t have any annual leave. So it can come as a bit of a shock when the costs continue when you finally secure employment and you’re asked to pay for a DBS check.
Employers Paying for DBS Checks
Don’t panic though. Most employers accept the cost of getting DBS checks done as part and parcel of the recruitment process. They won’t ask you to pay for your own checks. Most won’t ask you to pay and then reimburse you at a later date. However, the key point is that they don’t have to. There is no law stating who has to pay for someone’s DBS check. Most employers who have alternative arrangements about paying for your DBS will be clear about that upfront, so if nothing is mentioned, it’s probably safe to assume that the costs will be paid for you. If you’re applying for a voluntary position, then checks are carried out free of charge. So nobody pays.
In some industry sectors, notably the care industry, it’s becoming standard practice to ask applicants to pay for their own DBS checks. As stated above, there’s nothing illegal about doing this. Recent surveys have also indicated that this practice is creeping into the NHS too. In many cases, the cost of the DBS check will be refunded in the employee’s first pay packet. But again, this isn’t a legal requirement.
If your employer asks you to pay for your DBS check, make sure you’re aware whether the costs will be reimbursed or not. As a one-off charge for a job you’re going to be in for years, it’s not a huge issue. But if you’re swapping jobs every couple of months and paying for a new DBS each time, the costs soon mount up.
If you do find yourself in the position of having to apply for two or more DBS checks over the course of the year, then consider signing up for the DBS Update service. The idea behind Update is to cut down on the paperwork and administration involved in repeated checks. If you enrol in Update, you get access to your DBS information online. The database is constantly updated, and this means that when you do switch jobs, then all you need to do is log into the website to show your employer your current status. There is an annual fee for this service, but it’s less than the cost of a second DBS check. The only limitation is that if you join the service after a basic or standard check, you can’t then use it for a job needing an enhanced check. But for people who switch jobs regularly within the same sector, it’s a huge benefit.