Checks on job applicants

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Checks employers can make on job applicants


  • Employers must check that job applicant are allowed to work in the UK (see our article). Failure to carry out proper checks before employment start can lead to hefty penalties.
  • Criminal record checks: Employers can request a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for someone applying for a role. Certain roles are eligible for a more detailed check, for example in healthcare or childcare.  Use this handy tool to find out what type of DBS check you can get for your employee.  Note that unless you’re eligible to check someone’s spent criminal record for a job, it is against the law to refuse to employ them because of spent convictions.
  • Health checks: An employer can only ask for a successful applicant to undergo  a health check if:
  • it’s a legal requirement (e.g., eye tests for commercial vehicle drivers)
  • if the job requires it (e.g., because their insurers need health checks on cycle couriers)
  • Note: An employer who discriminates against a candidate because of a disability that does not stop them from doing the job can be prosecuted.
Further information can be found here


Disclaimer: this article is only intended as an overview of the legislation. You must always check directly with HMRC, ACAS or your own legal consultant for further information.