No matter how rigorous the interview process, you can never really know how a prospective employee will work out.
They may have dazzled you throughout the recruitment stage, but can they impress you in the long run?
Of course, you want to make the most informed recruitment decision possible. Therefore, you may offer an individual a conditional job offer, which can be withdrawn if the applicant does not fulfil all the conditions of the offer.
In this article, we highlight five key pre-employment checks to carry out.
1. Right to work in the UK
By law, employers have a legal requirement to ask and check that an employee has the right to work in the UK. Employers should take this obligation seriously – you can be fined up to £20,000 if you cannot demonstrate that you checked an employee’s eligibility to work in the UK.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of making assumptions or thinking that a pre-employment background check is necessary or not necessary due to the person’s accent, ethnic origin or the time they have lived in the UK. The problem is that this can lead to discrimination claims.
The best way to avoid claims of discrimination, either direct or indirect, is to carry out right to work checks on everyone.
In some highly-regulated sectors, such as financial services, a reference is required to conduct certain functions. However, in most cases, there is no such obligation. You can choose whether or not to seek a reference from a previous or current employer. Some references are short and factual, whilst others may be fuller and more comprehensive. In any case, they may be of value to assess someone’s suitability for the role. If you are unsure of how best to proceed, a free consultation with an employment law company will help direct you to the correct procedure.
3. Health checks
In some cases, it may be a legal requirement to ask for a pre-employment health check. An example of this is an eye test if someone is working as a driver.
In other cases, an employer may wish to obtain a medical report about a prospective employee. This will show if they have a health issue or physical disability that affects their ability to do the job. To do this, you must comply with the strict conditions laid down in the Access to Medical Reports Act 1988. The prospective applicant has the right to refuse their consent, say yes to the application, or agree to the application but ask to see the report prior to it being sent to you.
4. DBS checks
An employer or an organisation engaging volunteers may request a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check to find out whether an individual has a criminal record. This pre-employment check will help assess their suitability for positions of trust. For employers in certain sectors, such as education, social work and healthcare, this is critical for safeguarding purposes.
In any case, you will need to establish whether a role is eligible for a DBS check before submitting an application. There are different types of criminal records checks, including:
This will look to see if the applicant has any spent or unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or final warnings from the police.
As well as the information provided in standard checks, enhanced checks also look to see if there is any further information held by the local police force that is pertinent to the role being applied for.
Enhanced with list checks
This goes beyond an enhanced check and looks at barred lists – those individuals who are not suitable for working with children or adults.
5. Qualification check
In some professions, it is imperative that the prospective employee have specific qualifications to their job. You must, therefore, check original copies of all certificates provided.
Call us today for more information on the pre-employment checks required for your sector and/or desirable for your organisation.