Workers Face Illegal Record Checks

Employment Law


Employers are carrying out illegal criminal record checks on applicants for jobs such as train drivers, gardeners and bricklayers, it has been revealed.

Firms and charities in England and Wales use Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks to identify people who are not suitable to work with children or vulnerable adults, but an investigation by BBC Radio 4 says the CRB has been approached to carry out checks which uncover spent convictions that should not be disclosed.

The news prompted crime reduction charity Nacro to call for the CRB to monitor applications for background checks, but the body said employers were best placed to know whether a check is necessary.

People who have been convicted of a criminal offence and who have not reoffended since are protected from disclosing their spent conviction to prospective employers under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. The only exceptions are if the person wants to work with children or vulnerable adults.

The BBC reports that Nacro believes unnecessary criminal records checks are now undermining that law and too often leading to workers being suspended or sacked.

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