Are Employers Legally Entitled To Ask For A DBS Check?
There are many types of jobs that legally require a DBS check, and employers may request different levels of DBS checks for different reasons. But are employers legally entitled to ask for a DBS Check if a DBS check is not a legal requirement for your role?
Employers are legally permitted to ask any member of staff for a DBS check, provided that the employee’s role is eligible for the level of check being requested.
Your employer will inform you if you need a DBS check for any job you apply for. If you do need a DBS check, they should tell you what level of check is required.
For some roles, Standard DBS checks or Enhanced DBS checks are required by law or by regulatory bodies. For example, the roles below would require an Enhanced DBS Check with Barred List(s)
- Social workers
- Medical professionals
Some jobs that are in particular settings will also always require a DBS check. For example, a role in a:
- Children’s home
There are also jobs that require a DBS check when you enter the profession. For example:
- Veterinary surgeons (vets)
Are Employers Legally Entitled To Ask For A DBS Check? – Basic Checks
But what about Basic DBS Checks? More and more companies are asking employees to undertake a Basic DBS Check as part of their onboarding of new staff for roles that would not require a DBS check by law.
If you work in retail, you may not expect to undergo a DBS check, but the company hiring you may have a policy of getting all their staff Basic DBS checks to protect their stock, or for people working on the tills, or in a cash office. A secretary in an office environment may be working with important documents, and the HR department may wish to make sure the person they are employing doesn’t have any unspent convictions that they have not declared.
There are many reasons why companies are asking their employees to undergo a DBS Check. So, are employers legally entitled to ask for a DBS check?
Employers are legally permitted to ask any member of staff for a DBS check, provided that the employee’s role is eligible for the level of check being requested. Because Basic checks have no eligibility guidelines, employers can request a basic check for any of their staff.
What If I Do Not Want To Have A DBS Check?
If you do not wish to undertake a DBS check that an employer has requested, you are legally within your rights to refuse a DBS check; however, the employer may wish to withdraw your job offer as some roles, as discussed above, cannot be undertaken without having a DBS Check, for example, teaching or a carer. In these circumstances, the best thing you can do is speak to your prospective employer and communicate your reasons for not wanting to have a DBS check.
If you have found our article, Are Employers Legally Entitled To Ask For A DBS Check? useful, then we have many other informative articles that you may find of interest, including:
If you are looking to obtain DBS Checks for your staff, you can call us on 0113 877 0171, or register below.
About The Author
Kellie is our in-house legal expert when it comes to DBS checks. With a background in the legal sector, she has become a recognised authority in this area.