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can my employer do this?

(26 Posts)
trumpetblaster Fri 07-Nov-14 17:31:33

I work for a large international company, we have recently won a new account and as part of their bid for the account they promised the client that all our staff working on that account would be CRB checked and financial checks done too.

The team I work on will be handling this new account so I've had an email telling me I'll soon receive a form that I need to complete in order for these checks to be done.

I don't have any criminal record or any adverse credit but I just don't feel happy about it and I struggle to see that they have a right to insist on it.
We won't have access to any financial information, all charges are invoiced to the client.

There is nothing in my contract that states that I may be required to have these checks.

I could understand and agree to this if I was handling sensitive data but I'm not, it just seems totally unnecessary. I've been doing this job for over 15 years for various companies and this not something that other employers do in our industry.

We have been told that our info will be kept on file by HR but how do I know who has access to it?

I know I'm probably being over sensitive but most of my colleagues feel the same way too. Some are worried about the financial checks.

If it was something that I was told when I started a job I'd be fine about it but I just can't see that they have a legal right to insist that I have these checks done.
And what if I don't agree? Could they sack me? Surely they can't can they?

Heels99 Fri 07-Nov-14 17:35:55

We have to do it for some of our financial clients. Think its fairly normal. Never had anyone object.

Nydj Fri 07-Nov-14 17:43:35

If you don't agree, your employer should try and get you work with other clients who don't require the checks. If such work is not available then they could dismiss you for 'some other substantial reason' which is a potentially fair reason for dismissal.

thatstoast Fri 07-Nov-14 17:49:02

What information do you have to provide that your employer doesn't already have? I'm not familiar with crb checks. For a credit check it'll be name, address history and date of birth which they already have?

I would think there'd be problems from refusing it when you don't seem to have a clear reason to object other than you didn't agree to it at the start of your employment.

HonestLie Fri 07-Nov-14 18:00:31

CRB checks don't exist anymore it is a DBS they will need to have done.

It's fairly standard in a lot of companies. If your company has said it will be kept by HR nobody out of HR should/would ever see it.

As for a copy of your terms and conditions, there may be a clause regarding this.

LIZS Fri 07-Nov-14 18:10:14

HR won't keep the document . You complete the form and it gets sent away , you receive the certificate and pass on the number. Very common now.

Greengrow Fri 07-Nov-14 20:57:38

Yes, very common pointless box ticking demanded by big customers all the time these days. If you were a real fraudster you could hide things anyway so instead all those who have no financial problems have to comply. It is of course intrusive and none of the employer's or the customer's business if an employee has £40k on credit cards and is about to be repossessed or inherited £2m last week from their uncle.

Musicaltheatremum Fri 07-Nov-14 22:44:59

I have worked for the NHS for 28 years and GP for 22 years. They have done PVG (protecting vulnerable group checks) for many years but are now retrospectively checking those of us who have been around for centuries. Cost me £59. Daft but that's the rules now and we have to do it. The certificate goes to you. You just need ID and fill in the form. The daft thing I. Scotland is you have to be checked for every health board you work in so locums who may want to work in Fife and in Edinburgh find it difficult as they have to do it twice or more.

prh47bridge Fri 07-Nov-14 23:46:28

Your employer can only request a DBS check if your role is covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975. In essence this means they are allowed to ask about spent convictions.

If your job is not covered your employer can still get a basic check from Disclosure Scotland. This only lists unspent convictions, unlike a standard DBS check which include spent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings.

If you have no convictions the check will simply say that. It won't disclose any other information.

If you were a real fraudster you could hide things anyway so instead all those who have no financial problems have to comply

From personal experience I have to say you would be surprised how many people apply for jobs hoping that the DBS check will somehow miss relevant convictions.

It is of course intrusive and none of the employer's or the customer's business if an employee has £40k on credit cards

That really depends on the job. If the employee's role provides access to information that would enable them to defraud people it is very much the employer's business.

HonestLie Sat 08-Nov-14 01:00:26

LIZS the employer may have a clause that says if they require you to have a check done they also require a copy of the full certificate.

OP check your terms and conditions.

PinkOboe Sat 08-Nov-14 01:02:48

What does it matter if you've nothing to hide?

TooMuchCantBreathe Sat 08-Nov-14 01:12:42

I don't understand what dB's has to do with financial records? Unless anyone has a fraud conviction or similar?

Tbh I'm not sure I could muster the energy to object, if you have convictions that will show ask to work in a different team (although I think most employers would see that as a bit of a red flag) if you don't fill in the form. The Company will already have most of the information (name dob 5 years of addresses) so a clear dbs will give them nothing they don't already have except an email saying you have no convictions, why is that a big deal? confused

AgentProvocateur Sat 08-Nov-14 01:45:33

Yes, they can. And if you don't like it, they can move you to another team. And if there's no other team, you're in a difficult position if you refuse to undergo these checks.

trumpetblaster Sat 08-Nov-14 09:30:31

tbh I will be just filling in the form, I don't have the energy to object and I don't want them thinking I've got something to hide.

But it's the principal of the matter.

We all feel the same, it's an intrusion in to our personal details and it's unnecessary since we don't have access to sensitive data or financial information. A couple of my colleagues are concerned about the credit check side of things.

I've checked the T&C's in my contract, there's absolutely nothing that states they may need to do these checks, tbh our contracts are pretty poor.

Yes they do already hold all the info they need to do the checks but they aren't allowed to do them without my signature.

They have said that the info will be held by HR, I guess that's so they can prove to the client that they've been done.

lastnightIwenttoManderley Sat 08-Nov-14 09:45:17

OP, I've had one done as we've recently started doing a lot of work with schools and it's easier for us not to require a staff escort all the time.

If I remember rightly there is a DBS code of conduct which clearly states that they can't keep a copy of it (i remember being surprises by this). They can keep a record of the check number and that it came back clear but not the actual cert.

Also can't dismiss you on the basis of anything on it, just adapt your role (i think).

Seems odd for it to be promised if the work you do wouldn't put you in contact with the public?

PinkSquash Sat 08-Nov-14 09:51:05

You keep your certificate but they have the number that they can check. There isn't anything work would have regarding the DBS forms. The DBS forms weren't as thorough as the CRB forms IIRC.

trumpetblaster Sat 08-Nov-14 10:32:10

Seems odd for it to be promised if the work you do wouldn't put you in contact with the public?

No it's an office job, I have access to the client's employee's names, telephone numbers, email addresses, possibly their job description, info about where they will be when etc but I don't actually have face to face contact with them or access to credit card details or other financial information.

There is absolutely nothing I could do to defraud their company or cause any harm to any of their employees.

We simply provide a service and invoice them for that service.

ChillySundays Sat 08-Nov-14 21:41:46

To me it would depend on what information the checks would give. If the check just comes back as an 'ok' I wouldn't be bothered but I would not want my employer knowing the size of my mortgage or how much I have on a credit card

Framboisier Sat 08-Nov-14 21:54:26

The financial checks won't tell anyone anything apart from if you are bankrupt and failed to tell them, or if you have lots of county court judgements outstanding.

Basically if you are in trouble (not just in debt)

LuckyLopez Sat 08-Nov-14 22:02:46

So if you're in debt you are more likely to break the law than someone who isn't? Bloody presumptuous isn't it?

Framboisier Sat 08-Nov-14 22:08:30

@Lucky - no, I don't think that's the presumption at all.

Background/financial checks are there to check that someone (in my industry at least) is fit and proper; not going to have financial issues that bring the employer into disrepute; can be trusted as far as financial matters are concerned

Criminal records checking is to check for ...erm a criminal record

The two are not necessarily related

Pinotgrigioplease Sat 08-Nov-14 22:10:05

Not really Lopez.

When I worked in the bank it was seen to be an issue if you were not managing your own financial affairs properly for 2 reasons.

1. You would be advising other people on their affairs so should really have your own in order
2. You would be more liable to being bribed to pass over info if you had large amounts of debt than someone who didn't.

Nerf Sat 08-Nov-14 22:13:35

Also blackmail potential isn't it? Someone in a lot of debt may be more blackmail able. That might just be government type jobs?

LuckyLopez Sat 08-Nov-14 22:13:59

So what I said is true? If someone has debt it is assumed they are more likely to take an (illegal) bribe and behave improperly.

Pinotgrigioplease Sat 08-Nov-14 23:39:37

I meant it wasn't presumptious it is a known fact. Not only just bribery but illegal transfers or a till not balancing at the end of a shift.

In 8 years I personally knew 4 people who got caught.

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