DBS Checks

The Supreme Court has held that the way criminal records are disclosed to employers infringes human rights, meaning that reform of the current scheme will have to be considered.

The court ruled in favour of three people who brought claims, alleging that their lives had been excessively impacted by past minor criminal convictions.

It was concluded that two elements of the system as it is violated human rights and were “disproportionate”, they were:

  • That all previous convictions, however minor, should be disclosed if a person has more than one; and
  • That warnings and reprimands issued to young offenders should be disclosed.

This decision upheld the Court of Appeal’s findings from 2017 and it was concluded that the scheme was “not in accordance with the law” within the meaning of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), which protects the right to private life.

This should be borne in mind by employers and attention should be paid to potential reform to Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Checks which will alter the level of information provided to employers.

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