Criminal records check increase comes under fire

Voluntary
sector employers have criticised the Home Office after it more than doubled the
increase of criminal records checks.

Home
Secretary David Blunkett announced that the Criminal Records Bureau’s fees for
carrying out a check are to increase from £12 to £24 for a standard disclosure
and to £29 for an enhanced disclosure.

Stuart
Etherington, chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary
Organisations (NCVO), said the increase would hit voluntary organisations hard.

“We
were very surprised and disappointed to be told today that voluntary and
community organisations are to be hit by the doubling of the cost of criminal
records checks. This decision appears to have been made without any prior
consultation and without any thought for its impact on the voluntary sector.”

Janice
Cook, HR director for children’s charity NCH, was unhappy the increase in
processing costs had been made without any consultation.

“This
is a massive increase. We employ 6,000 staff and most work directly with
children. This shows a complete lack of understanding of our resourcing position.
We probably recruit about 1,500 people a year and we would need to ask for
enhanced checks on about 80 per cent of these,” she said.

By Ben Willmott

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