Now we are into 2021 and thinking of the possibility of life after lockdown, it is a good time to review safer recruitment practice. In particular, review the wording of self-disclosure questions for job applicants and seek quality references.
Because from 28 November 2020, the filtering rules for DBS checks changed.
The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) will no longer disclose youth reprimands, youth warnings, or youth cautions. And where an individual has more than one conviction – they will no longer be automatically disclosed. Instead each individual conviction will be assessed against the appropriate rules.
The egislation has changed as are the result of a Supreme Court Judgment which identified that some elements of the existing filtering rules were disproportionate.
More information about these guidelines, can be found in the following government filtering guides:
Regulated activities are the activities that the DBS can bar people from doing. It is a criminal offence for a barred person to seek to work, or work in, activities from which they are barred. It is also a criminal offence for employers or voluntary organisations to knowingly employ a barred person in regulated activity.
The CQC provides guidance on which activities are considered regulated.
This is their quick reference guide, showing how regulated activities and service types are likely to link to each other. It is important to review the regulated activities
regulations, decide which regulated activities your service carries out, and then apply to register for those activities. If you carry on a regulated activity without being registered for it, you may be prosecuted and liable to a fine.
The Department of Health has also published information on the scope of regulated activity in relation to adults.
The CRB will still be merged with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA), in Darlington, to create the new Disclosure and Barring Service (DSB) in 2012.
However it has been confirmed that the DSB will operate from both the existing sites, rather than from just one – as the Home Office had suggested in February. The Home Office also expects all 700 CRB staff to keep their jobs – bar some cost-cutting changes at “executive management level”.
The rethink appears to flow from a realisation that there is little duplication in the work done by the CRB and the ISA.
Following the introduction of filtering certain convictions and cautions from DBS certificates on 29th May 2013, Employers will not be able to take certain old and minor cautions and convictions into account when making decisions about any individual. HR policies, job specifications and application forms will therefore all need to reflect the filtering changes.
It is important that employers ask the right questions, and that employees give the right (legally accurate) answer. The DBS suggests that Employers include the following paragraph below in their standard application forms:
‘The amendments to the Exceptions Order 1975 (2013) provide that certain spent convictions and cautions are ‘protected’ and are not subject to disclosure to employers, and cannot be taken into account. Guidance and criteria on the filtering of these cautions and convictions can be found at the Disclosure and Barring Service website.’
The Home Office has issued a tender for a company to run the outsourced ‘disclosure and barring services’. This will replace the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). The new service will merge their functions together as part of the implementation of the Protection of Freedoms Bill.
The tender notice in the Official Journal of the European Union says the contract will last for eight years and is valued at between £250m and £350m. As yet there is no firm date for the new service to come into effect. A Home Office briefing on the protection and freedoms bill says that timescales will be finalised when the bill receives royal assent, which is now expected to be in mid-2012.
Meanwhile The Criminal Records Bureau has requested that the Capita Group Plc continues providing its Disclosure Service under a PPP agreement for a further 12 months from the end of March 2012 until March 2013. Continue reading Tender for Disclosure and Barring Services issued
Council leaders and safety campaigners have condemned government plans to relax the criminal checks designed to protect passengers from dangerous taxi drivers. Currently, prospective taxi and private car hire drivers must pass an enhanced criminal record bureau (CRB) check, which gathers information from local police records, the Police National Computer, child protection and sex offenders registers. The checks are repeated every three years to satisfy licensing authorities that these drivers do not pose a risk.
Under the Protection of Freedoms Bill, they would only be entitled to a ‘Standard’ CRB check which only includes convictions, cautions and reprimands, and would not show if they were barred from working with children or vulnerable adults. Transport for London, the capital’s licensing authority, rejected 240 drivers between 2002 and 2008 after enhanced checks uncovered incidents of rape, terrorist activities, organised crime and drug dealing. They say these incidents would have been missed by less rigorous checks. Continue reading Taxi Drivers no longer eligible for eCRB