Understanding DBS and Right to Work checks aligned

In October this year, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) announced new identity check guidance that will come fully into effect in December 2017. This could potentially be a difficult change to understand if your legal knowledge is limited but hopefully this article offers some insight as to what action to take.

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Prior to this, employers who were carrying out a basic DBS check would also often be carrying out a Right to Work check, but the identity checks prior to both applications would be quite different. In light of the new DBS announcement, they will become more aligned.

The background to the new rules can be found at the government website GOV.UK.
The main change is the requirements for workers coming from outside the European Economic Area (EEA), who will find that the document requirement for a basic DBS check is similar to that of the Right to Work application document list.

If you need to understand more than just the background of the new rules and need to understand them comprehensively then online research may not be enough. Legal advice may be a good next step. Depending on the size of your company and budget you have, you may wish to consider a solicitor Gloucester offer. If you are in that area you may wish to consider https://www.deeandgriffin.co.uk/ 

If you would like a solicitor from another part of the country, then there are plenty to choose from. Solicitors are not exclusive to just Gloucester.

New rules

As far as employers are concerned, the new rules make it clearer what documentation is required from the job applicant. The emphasis on the employer to verify the authenticity of any documents presented remains. In the past, this has resulted in costly mistakes in the Right to Work applications, and in the case of DBS checks, the stakes are even higher given the involvement of vulnerable people and children in some sectors. These include health and education. If legal experts would have been contacted by confused employers sooner, then there wouldn’t have been these costly mistakes.

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Some recent reports have suggested the incidence of false documentation in the care sector has increased in recent years. Employers will have to be meticulous in assessing documentation if they want to avoid damaging their own reputations.


The government recommends that documents should be queried if they show signs of damage, especially in the areas of personal details such as the applicants name and photos.

The DBS has made it clear in their guidance notes that employers must not attempt to make changes to the application form without the applicant’s knowledge, as this would invalidate the process and may be in breach of data protection legislation.

Although the new rules are more aligned with the right to work requirements, it’s important to note that a DBS check does not mean a right to work application is not required. The government has made it clear that a DBS check will not be seen as providing evidence of a person’s right to work. This includes those applying for voluntary positions.

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