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Has an employer wrongly carried out a standard or enhanced DBS check?

As part of our fair access to employment project we’re gathering information on employers who have carried out standard or enhanced checks where only a basic is legally permitted.

For some jobs, employers are allowed to consider cautions and spent convictions (unless they have been filtered). Employers recruiting for these jobs are legally permitted to carry out a higher level DBS check – a standard or enhanced check. Both checks disclose cautions, spent and unspent convictions and enhanced checks may also include additional “soft intelligence” held in police records. It is a criminal offence for an employer to knowingly request a check at a higher level than the law permits.

Find out more about eligibility here.

What we need from you

Has an employer has carried out a standard or enhanced criminal record check for a role that wasn’t eligible?

Have they taken into account spent convictions or other information that they were not entitled to see (so called “soft intelligence” or “local police information”?

If so, please contact us at policy@unlock.org.uk using the subject header ‘Call for evidence: ineligible DBS check’. Please include:

  • The name of the employer (or umbrella body if relevant) that did the check
  • The job title of the role you applied for, and a description of the responsibilities
  • A copy of the job advert (if available)
  • The full details of your criminal record
  • Details of any correspondence with the employer about the check – for example, did they tell you it was necessary for the role you were applying for and, if so, did they say anything else about why?
  • Details of what happened when the disclosure certificate was given to the employer
  • Whether you would be willing to contribute to any media coverage on this issue in future (this is for our reference, we won’t share your details without consent)

Any information you provide will be kept in line with our confidentiality policy. Any personal information provided to us will not be shared externally without your consent. To help us provide you with the best advice, we may discuss your case, anonymously, with legal practitioners.

Find out more about how we handle your data.

Find out more about what we do with your experiences and evidence.

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Photo of Head of Advice, Debbie Sadler
Debbie Sadler
Head of Advice

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