Not all businesses hire employees directly. Some now use agencies for permanent, temporary and even casual workers. However, Pre-Employment Background Identity Checks are an essential part of the recruitment process.
Before a person legally has the Right to Work in the UK, a recruiter is required to identify the potential candidate and perform an ID verification to establish that their identity is genuine.
So, whether you’re a business hiring directly; or through an agency – you have a legal responsibility to ensure your company is completing the necessary checks to ensure all employees have the UK right to work status.
Like many industries, recruitment is coming under increased pressure to comply with government regulations around Right to Work compliance. Recruiters are now required to check, authenticate and retain all potential and existing candidates identity documentation, to ensure they are eligible to work in the UK.
Completing background checks are a crucial first step to ensure that a candidate gives valid, identity information and documentation. Credas background identity checks are a vital starting point for a robust screening process.
Whether you are a business vetting job applicants before they join your company or a recruitment agency who manages hundreds of potential employees for organisations of all industries, pre-employment checks are an essential step you need to take before your hire (or recommend) employees.
As an employer or a recruitment agency, when you’re recruiting a new temporary or permanent employee you need to perform employment background checks to ensure that all staff are who they claim to be (also known as right to work checks).
To ensure that potential employees have provided valid identity information and the relevant documentation, you need to include right to work checks as the first step of your recruitment process.
A robust employee screening process includes a variety of pre-employment background checks, which collate personal data quickly and efficiently, providing recruiters with all the information they need to hire job applicants with confidence.
Skipping crucial parts of your employee background screening can leave your business vulnerable to a range of repercussions, both internally from illicit employees and externally from regulators.
As a consequence of the increased focus on compliance, employers are facing pressures to conduct thorough background checks when recruiting new employees.
By verifying the background of an employee, you ensure that your workplace is secure and your business operations protected.
Employee background checks are particularly important if you are recruiting job applicants for a position of trust. Some of the key types of pre-employment checks include:
Credit checks are a crucial part of the background screening for positions in the financial sectors.
This type of pre-employment check should be informed by the type of role you are recruiting for – while it may be key to run a credit check on a financial director candidate, jobs with no access to finance don’t require it.
In fact, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) advises to only carry out credit checks if you don’t have a less intrusive alternative.
Criminal record checks should be a mandatory step of the pre-employment background screening for all businesses.
By running a sanction search as part of your recruitment process, you are protecting your organisation from any employees that could pose a threat. Similarly to credit checks, criminal record checks employers carry out on job applicants should be relevant to the role they are recruiting for.
Any background checks you run on employees criminal records should also comply with relevant legal requirements.
Records of spent convictions are not usually requested as part of the pre-employment checks. In cases where employees have not re-committed a criminal offence for a set period of time after they’ve been convicted, they are considered to have a clean criminal record.
Right to work checks is another key step of employment screening. This includes pre-employment right to work checks on job applicants, but could sometimes apply to verify the right to work of your existing employees as well.
As an employer or a recruitment agency, you are held legally responsible by government legislation to ensure both permanent and temporary staff from all nationalities have a valid document which proves they have the Right to Work in the UK.
The legislation requires the recruiter to see the applicant’s original documents in person. However, recruitment ID check software can provide proof of ID, verifying the person is real, and confirm the document is authentic, safe and legal before you meet the candidates in person.
That way, the ‘in person’ part is just a formality. When checking right to work documents, you need to ensure that the documents are genuine, original and unchanged and belong to the candidate.
Check that the document hasn’t expired and that pictures and dates of birth are the same across all documents. If you’re employing students, you should also check for evidence of their study and vacation times.
Some roles, such as childcare and healthcare positions, may also require more detailed Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks.
However, it’s generally considered illegal to refuse potential employees because of spent convictions unless you’re eligible to check their record for a job. After 2020, EU citizens and their families will also need to provide proof of their settled status as part of their right to work in the UK documentation.
Any documentation they currently hold proving that they can work in the UK will be valid until December 31st 2020. Failing to perform right to work checks on employees could lead to severe penalties for recruitment agencies and independent employers alike.
Hiring an illegal worker or lacking proof that you’ve verified the job applicants’ UK documents are genuine as part of your employment background checks are both punishable offences.
Credas uses state-of-the-art technology to perform ID checks and right to work checks, making the pre-employment identity verification process simpler for recruiters.
Our cutting-edge facial recognition software verifies the person against an identity document and confirms that the documents your job applicant has provided are genuine.
Our software saves you time and money by storing all employee data on our highly secure cloud. This means all information is available to you when and where you need it, kept in a way that’s fully compliant with GDPR.
Recruitment agencies and employers across all sectors can benefit from a reliable identity verification software that carries out employment background checks quickly and reliably, helping them save time and money.