Summer Holiday Jobs and DBS Checks

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It’s that time of year when senior school pupils and university students are considering plans for the summer. For many, this will involve trying to get a job to earn some extra cash to fund their studies over the following year. Post-pandemic, getting a job isn’t always easy, and competition can be fierce. However, young people who are prepared to turn their hands to anything, work irregular hours or taking on temporary contracts. Often, employers are looking for an employee who can start right away, but how does this work with positions which require a DBS check?


Temporary Workers and DBS Checks

There is no difference in the requirement for DBS checks for temporary compared to permanent workers. The determining factor is the activities which are being carried out, not the employment status of the person doing them. So just as a full-time carer working in a nursing home needs an enhanced disclosure check, so does a student who is drafted in for a few weeks to cover staff holiday. This can give employers – and employees – a bit of a headache.


Processing Times for DBS Checks

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, processing times for DBS checks were falling quarter on quarter, and you could be reasonably sure that when you submitted your application, you could expect the certificate in a post around three weeks later. But over the past year, the DBS has been prioritising any applications from people working in the health and social care sector, with the knock-on effect being that other applicants wait longer. This could work in your favour if you are planning to spend your summer working as a hospital health care assistant, or as a carer for people in their own homes. If however you are planning on a summer running sports camps for children, you may have a much longer wait.


Speeding Up Your DBS Check

Although there’s nothing you can do to make the wheels turn more quickly at the DBS office, there is lots you can do to make sure your application doesn’t hit any hurdles along the way. Take your time while completing it, making sure to fill in all of the information you are asked for, and paying special attention over the previous address section. Ask for advice if you are unsure about what you should be filling in each box, either from your employer, or directly from the DBS.


Start Work Without DBS?

Depending on the type of work, employers may have some leeway to allow workers to start pending a DBS check. A fast-track option called Adult First is a way of quickly checking the Barred Lists for Adults, and a clear check will allow people to start work in some situations. Employers might pair staff whose check is pending with other staff who have more experience. Certain tasks may be reserved for disclosed members of staff only. Any employer who is accustomed to taking on seasonal or temporary staff should have policies and procedures in place to deal with these circumstances.