It’s probably fair to say that even before the Covid-19 pandemic there has been a gradual switch to increased working at home. Over the last year the move to home working has been increasing quickly, and many companies have embraced this new way of working. As we start to emerge from the pandemic, many employers are thinking about ways of allowing some workers to continue at home. Having people working in their own homes reduces commuting time and expense for the workers and might allow the employer to downsize their office space and save money on overheads too. Recruitment at a distance is often tricky but checking that you have the right people working for your company is still critical, even if they are going to be working from home.
Disclosure checks are needed for a wide range of occupations, and the law doesn’t differentiate over whether that role is being carried out in person, or over the internet. For example, most healthcare professionals will need a DBS check to have contact with patients in a surgery or health centre. That requirement still applies when seeing patients online. Employers are usually aware of this requirement, especially in settings where DBS certificates are processed in their thousands. Getting a DBS check for someone who you haven’t met in person is possible too, as the DBS has updated their guidance to allow identity documents to be checked remotely rather than face to face. Employers may ask members of staff to get their DBS certificate before starting work, depending on the type of employment.
Repeated surveys show that a large percentage of people tell fibs – big or small – on their job applications. When you’re recruiting people remotely and relying on interviewing online, it can be harder to get a “feel” for whether someone is genuine or not. This makes it even more important to chase up details and information which they have given on their CV. Employers won’t have the time to fact-check everything, especially for lower-level positions. But expect them to check up on key facts such as your job titles and responsibilities within that position, and perhaps also verify any academic qualifications you are claiming which are key to your ability to do the job.
Childcare and Office Space
Employers might ask different questions when a member of staff is considering working full time from their own property, compared with working in the office. During the pandemic, employers were understanding about workers who were trying to work and home-school children at the same time. It’s not really practical to combine working with full time childcare at any other time though, and it’s fairly standard for employers to ensure that workers have childcare in place for younger children while they are working. Some employers will provide a desk, chair, laptop, and everything else employees need to get set up from home, but many will want to establish that you have a space in your home where you can work undisturbed.