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13 Mar 2015

Employment

Government outlaws ‘back door’ criminal record checks

Employers who carry out ‘back-door’ criminal record checks on potential employees could face criminal charges after it is finally outlawed with effect from 10th March 2015.

It is now a criminal offence for employers to force job applicants and employees to obtain and then provide a copy of their criminal record by means of a subject access request under the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA).

The new offence covers employees and prospective employees as well as individuals who contract to provide services to another. The Information Commissioner has long disapproved of the practice of requiring applicants or existing workers to acquire and produce a copy of their criminal record through the subject access provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 going so far as to describe it as a ‘back-door’ practice undertaken by ‘rogue employers’.

Employers who need to protect their business, customers or clients by verifying an individual’s criminal history, should seek disclosure through the Disclosure and Barring Service.

Please contact Daniel Wilde, Head of our Employment Department to discuss further 01633 244233 or email wilded@hevans.com

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