Firms told register now or risk delay in data checks

Organisations have been warned they could face significant delays when
recruiting new staff responsible for children or vulnerable adults if they do
not register with the Criminal Records Bureau by the new year.

Employers such as NHS trusts and charities can check the criminal records of
prospective employees through the police, but from next March the service will
be carried out by the CRB.

Mark Favager, marketing manager for the CRB, said employers must register
for the disclosure service by the end of December or they will face delays
recruiting these key staff next year.

"Organisations that use as part of their recruitment process criminal
record information to protect their customers, clients or staff must register
with the CRB by the end of 2001 or risk being unable to carry out these
checks," he said.

The CRB is holding a fringe event at the CIPD conference in Harrogate this
week, where operations director Keith Broadbent will outline what employers
need to know about the service.

From next summer, all employers will be able to ask prospective employees
for details of their criminal records through the CRB, when provisions in the
Police Act (1997) become law.

Firms will be able to ask applicants to apply for one of three types of
disclosure: enhanced, standard and basic, depending on the post, each costing

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has claimed that the new powers will lead to
an increase in discrimination against offenders.

See for the breaking news from the CIPD conference, and
next week’s issue for in-depth coverage

By Ben Willmott

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