Are you a trusting type of person who takes everyone at face value? Many of us are, and don’t like to go through life thinking of everyone we meet as a potential scammer or criminal. Employers though can’t take the risk of relying on their gut instinct or first impressions when it comes to taking on new employees. Being asked to go through identity checking before you start a new job doesn’t mean though that the employer doesn’t trust you or thinks that you are dodgy; it’s standard practice for any reputable organisation.
The main reason why employers must make sure that you are who you say you are, is to avoid being hit with stiff fines for employing illegal workers. Since Brexit, only people who are UK nationals, or who have indefinite leave to remain in the UK, have the automatic right to work here. If an employer doesn’t check passport details of applicants and ends up employing someone with no right to live or work in the UK, fines can be as high as £20k per worker. It’s therefore not surprising that most employers comply with the government Right to Work checks and will ask people to either bring a passport to interview with them, or scan and upload documents. They will also want to make sure that it is your picture on the passport you present to them, to cut the risk of an illegal worker using someone else’s documents to get a job.
Disclosure and Barring Checks
Not all jobs will require a DBS check, also known as a criminal records check. Most which do will state this clearly in the job advertisement, so you know what you’re letting yourself in for when you apply. One of the very first stages in DBS checking is confirming that the person in front of you matches the details on the form. Usually, key documents such as passport or driving licences are used as confirmation. These trusted documents are issued by the government and contain the photo of the holder. Other documents such as birth certificate or military ID cards can be used when the applicant doesn’t have a passport or driving licence.
Again, not every role will require a credit check, but if you are applying for a position in a bank, insurance company, or even for a role which needs security checking, you might be asked to declare your financial situation too. The idea behind this check is to weed out people whose dire financial situation could make them liable to blackmail or tempted to steal from their employer. Just like DBS checks, credit checking hinges on making sure the report is being generated for the right person. Employers require your permission for a credit check and will generally use one of the big agencies such as Equifax or Experian. Anyone can sign up with these sites and check their own credit file – a good idea to ensure there are no defaults you might have forgotten about.