ID verification guidance under the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) has recently changed. The new guidelines came into force on 2 October 2017, and organisations have until 30 December 2017 to make the transition. After that date, the existing guidelines will no longer apply.
What are the changes?
Interested parties will doubtless be relieved to hear that the new guidance differs from the old version in very few ways. One document has been removed from the list of permitted ID documents: Group 2b – Work Permit / Visa (UK) (UK Residence Permit). Meanwhile, two documents are new additions to the list of permitted ID documents. Both relate to individuals from outside the European Economic Area (EEA):
(1) Group 2a – Visa, work permit or immigration document, issued by a country outside the EEA. This is valid only for roles in which the applicant is working and residing outside of the UK.
(2) Group 2b – Bank or building society statement, issued from within a country outside the EEA. The document must have been issued in the last three months from a branch that is located in the jurisdiction where the applicant lives and works.
The full list of permitted ID documents is available from the government’s updated DBS ID verification online guidance.
Application of the changes to DBS checks
The changes apply to a basic DBS check just as they do to an enhanced check. This means that umbrella organisations, such as carecheck.co.uk, must heed the changes regardless of the type of DBS check to be conducted.
What prompted the changes to DBS ID verification?
The intention is to align the identity verification process under the DBS to the ‘Right to Work’ check. The ‘Right to Work’ is a four (or, in some specific cases, a five) step check, which is geared towards ensuring employers play their part in preventing illegal working within the UK. This is why employers are required to carry out document checks, confirming a potential employee’s right to work in the UK. An employer that fails to meet its obligations in this area may face a civil penalty. Fines can be large and prison sentences are possible. However, it is hoped that the changes to DBS ID verification will assist employers in meeting their obligations under this ‘Right to Work’ check.