Applying for jobs can be an expensive business. You need smart clothes for interview, transport to get you there and might have to take unpaid time off from your current job too. Once you’ve got the job, it’s usually safe to assume that the balance tips in the other direction and you start to be better off with your new salary and benefits package. But what happens when you’re applying for a role which requires police checking? Is this another expense which the applicant is expected to foot?
Costs of Checking
The costs of having the police checks done will depend on what level of checking is required for the role and your geographic location. More detailed checking, known as enhanced disclosure, is usually required for people who are going to be working directly with children or vulnerable adults. In England and Wales, these checks currently cost £44, with a more basic level of checking costing £26. The job role will determine what checks are required; it’s not something which the employee or employer can decide. In Scotland checks are done by Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) and joining their scheme costs £59. In Northern Ireland, basic checks cost £26, with enhanced checking costing £33. All of these fees are liable to rise over time, so check on the web pages for the authority you’re applying to for details of the current charges.
Volunteers – Free of Charge
The main exception to being charged for checking, irrespective of where you are in the UK, is for volunteers. People who are applying to work unpaid as a sports coach, or for organisations such as the Scouts will require an enhanced level of checking but will not be asked to pay for their checks to be done. Some people who are working in other organisations such as charities which have a mix of paid and volunteer staff might have to pay for their checks to be done, so always ask if you think the role you are applying for might fall into the exempt category.
Employer Paying for DBS
In most cases, the employer will pick up the cost of doing DBS checks as part and parcel of their recruitment costs. Depending on the type of role, workers might not be allowed to commence employment until their DBS is received, so it is in the organisation’s best interests to get the process completed as soon as they can. There is no legal obligation on employers to foot the bill of having their staff DBS checked though and some may choose to pass the cost onto their workers. If you’re asked to pay for your own DBS then It can be worth investigating enrolling in the DBS Update Service. This does cost slightly more than standard checking but means that you can instantly access your DBS service online, and if you move employer or take on additional work, you can allow your new employer to access it too. It cuts down on processing time and allows you to start work – and start earning – right away.