Job application checks – What could you be asked to provide?

Have you ever filled in an application form and asked ‘why does my employer need this information?’ Sometimes filling in a job application can make us feel like we are listing every detail about our lives for somebody to pick through, but there is usually a valid reason for employers to request certain information.

The following application checks are the most commonly used data collection methods performed by employers towards their potential employees.

UK working rights-
All employers must check that you are legally allowed to work within the UK before offering you a position. This is the reason you may be asked to provide proof of nationality, for example in the form of a passport. Those employers who fail to check their employee’s status risk facing fines of up to £10,000.

Criminal record-
DBS checksFor certain positions employers need to perform criminal record checks using the DBS – Disclosure and Barring Service. These checks are usually performed on those looking to work with children or within the healthcare industry. However unless the employer can list a specific reason to perform a DBS check, they are unable to refuse employment based on an applicant’s previous convictions.

Health records-
According to www.gov.uk there are only two occasions when employers are legally able to request a health check from an applicant, these being:
-‘If there is a legal requirement, e.g. eye tests for commercial vehicle drivers’
-‘If the job requires it, e.g. because their insurers need health checks on cycle couriers’

If a position requires a health check, employers should state their intent within the applicant’s offer letter. All heath checks must be performed without discrimination, for example towards a candidate’s age.

Any data which is collected by an employer from an applicant is subject to the data protection rules, which employers must follow when handling all applicant information.

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