By Michelle Rowe, Senior Accountant at Hive Business
It’s finally happened! You’ve found them. It’s taken a while, but I think we can all agree that you’ve bagged yourself the cream of the crop. There were a few false starts at the beginning – I think we can all agree the advert in the local paper brought a few oddballs out of the woodwork! But, after a bit of tweaking and a redesign, they spotted the online advert and the right person crossed your threshold.
Finding the perfect job applicant can be difficult – making sure you target the right pool of candidates; offering an attractive package; asking the right questions during the interview; deciding who will fit well into the role and into the team; etc. It’s a minefield, and it doesn’t stop at the job offer. You still need to check that your potential new employee is entitled to work in the position that they have applied for. Their references only go so far, you are still required to perform certain checks to ensure their suitability for the position.
The Right to Work Check
Before a new employee can work for you, you need to confirm that they have the right to work in the UK. For British Citizens, this is a relatively simple test – taking a clear copy of their current passport or, if that’s not available, a clear copy of their birth/ adoption certificate along with an official document showing their full name and national insurance number.
For non-British Citizens, it all depends on where in the world the applicant originates. There is a helpful checklist on the gov.uk website that runs you through what evidence you need to obtain in order to ensure that they have the right to work in the UK.
With the uncertainty remaining over Brexit, the Government have stated that:
“There will be no change to the rights and status of EU citizens currently living in the UK until 30 June 2021, or 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.”
Therefore, applicants from other EU countries will still have the right to work in the UK in the short term. Those wishing to stay in the UK will need to apply for “Settled Status”.
Be aware that, as an employer, you can be fined up to £20,000 for failing to show evidence that you have checked your employees right to work in the UK.
Disclosure and Barring Service Check (DBS)
Formally known as criminal record checks (CRB), these are a requirement of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in order to meet the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014. These Regulations put an emphasis on safeguarding patients and ensuring fit and proper staff are employed in dental practices. A DBS check reviews a person’s past, looking specifically at any convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings they may have received.
There are three levels of DBS – Basic, Standard and Enhanced. The level of check required depends on the role of the new employee. For example, a new dental nurse is likely to have close contact with children or vulnerable adults and therefore an enhanced check is required as it shows full details of a criminal record, including Cautions, Warnings, Reprimands, spent and unspent convictions. However, a new receptionist is unlikely to have such close contact and therefore a standard check should be obtained showing any unspent convictions and conditional cautions on an individual’s criminal history.
Basic DBS checks can be performed online using the gov.uk service. Standard or enhanced DBS checks are usually completed through an intermediary company (e.g. Veriphy).
The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 also specifies a requirement to document the full employment history of new staff members, including an explanation of any gaps in employment. You also need to obtain documentary evidence of qualifications relevant to the duties the new employee is expected to perform.
So, before “the one” starts at the practice, make sure you do your due diligence. Perform the necessary checks to comply with the CQC regulations and make sure they are truly as good as they say they are.
If you’d like to know more about new employee checks, please get in touch.