It’s often said that the wheels of justice turn slowly, and it can take many months between being arrested and charged with a matter to appearing in court and being acquitted or found guilty. If in that intervening time you decide to switch positions and move into a role which requires a DBS check, what do you do about telling your employer about your pending court appearance? Will any matters which are pending appear on a DBS certificate?
Should I Just Tell my Employer?
Honesty is usually the best policy, and it is in your own interests to come clean to a potential employer and let them know that you are currently involved in a police case, or are facing prosecution. Many candidates are unwilling to do this as they feel it may jeopardise their chances of employment. And in many cases, they may be right. This is especially true in entry level positions where there is not a high level of training needed, and there are plenty of applicants for the position. But if you are applying for a position in a very niche market, have loads of experience and other qualities which make you the best choice for the position, the employer may be willing to overlook a minor police matter. It’s not going to look good, on the other hand, if you keep quiet about a pending conviction at interview and your employer finds out at a later date. The employer will feel cheated and deceived, and any trust between you has been broken.
Pending Matters and DBS Checks
Pending cases and allegations don’t enter onto your criminal record until you are found guilty and convicted. Therefore, any pending matters will not appear on a DBS check at basic or standard level. Enhanced disclosure checks look at a much higher level of detail, and in addition to convictions and cautions on your record, can list intelligence or other information held on the police computer. If you are applying for an enhanced disclosure and the police have information about a pending matter on their records, then they might choose to list that on your enhanced disclosure certificate.
Conviction after a DBS Check
If you have already obtained your DBS check and are then found guilty of an offence, then you are legally obliged to tell your employer about it, irrespective of the sentence handed out. Your conviction might impact on relationships between colleagues, and if you choose not to tell your employer and they find out at a later date, the penalty could be dismissal. Finding out you’ve lied about saying you needed a day off for the dentist when you were actually appearing in court isn’t going to go down well with any employee.
Usually, being convicted of a crime isn’t instant grounds for dismissal, unless for example you lose your driving licence when employed as a bus driver. But trying to keep things secret from your employer is never wise, and it’s always better to come clean.