Are CRB checks an infringement of human rights?

Judges at the court of appeal have ruled that the law requiring job applicants to disclose all previous convictions was an infringement of human rights. This could mean that if the Judgement is approved, job applicants do not have to disclose all of their criminal history when applying for certain jobs.

At the centre of this ruling is a case involving a job applicant know as ’T’, he was required by a local football club where he was applying to work, to undergo an Enhanced CRB Check. This check revealed he had stolen 2 bikes at the age of 11 and as a result of the findings his was not employed by the football club. However the government is suggesting we would be treading a fine line if this ruling goes ahead. A government spokesperson commented, "The protection of children and vulnerable groups must not be compromised. We are disappointed by this judgement and are seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court."

We cannot deny the fact that the DBS system has prevented thousands of paedophiles and child sex offenders from working with children and vulnerable individuals. Rather than jeopardising the safety of the young and vulnerable, the government and CRB Umbrella Bodies like ourselves must educate the company’s accessing CRB Checks for their staff. This means informing them on the level of criminal record check their staff is eligible for depending on the type of work they will be carrying out. It also means that employers must be educated so they know what to do with the information if an applicant has a criminal record. Personnel Checks spend a lot of time speaking with their client organisations and helping them with this very point. Rather than simply dismissing their application straight away they must make an informed decision by taking into account the seriousness of the crime, the type of place the applicant is applying to work, the age of the applicant when they received a conviction, how much time has lapsed and the relevance of the crime in relation to the job the applicant is undertaking, not to do this would be discrimination against the individual according to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974. The DBS understand that the Home Office is seeking leave to appeal against this judgment, therefore until they know the outcome of this appeal it remains business as usual.