Jobseekers would be wise to think about what they’re posting on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more, as messages referred to the police in future could still show up on employment verification checks by companies, even if they’re ultimately judged non-criminal in the end.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the College of Policing is currently facing a High Court challenge over the legalities of the rules in question. Forces around the UK record non-crime hate incidents when a victim considers content to be offensive, regardless of whether evidence exists to identify an element of hate.
An incident of this nature could then appear on an enhanced DBS check requested by an employer on a potential candidate for a position, regardless of whether or not said candidate has actually committed a crime or not.
The case has been brought by 53-year-old Harry Miller who was investigated by Humberside Police earlier in the year after someone on Twitter lodged a complaint over him sharing what was considered a transphobic limerick. This was recorded as a hate incident, even though no crime had been committed.
A representative from the DBS service, responsible for disclosing criminal records, explained that enhanced checks will reveal spent and unspent convictions, as well as information held by local police forces that could be relevant to the job role being applied for.
“In terms of non-crime hate incidents, these may be disclosed on an Enhanced check if they are considered by the police to be relevant,” the spokesman said.
Mr Miller has launched legal proceedings against the College of Policing and Humberside Police, saying that the Hate Crime Operational Guidance is unlawful and a breach of his right to freedom of expression as set out under Article 10 of the Human Rights Act.
Background screenings are conducted based on various key criteria, with the screening level selected proportionate to the requirements of the job role. Data will be held until your application is submitted or no longer than one calendar month. Once information has been submitted, this is then held for six months.
If you change your mind about providing consent after the process has begun you do have the opportunity to decline, although to withdraw from the process you will need to get in touch with the employer.
There are three levels of disclosure to know about. Basic level is a non-specific check available to anyone that requires certification, standard level is subject to eligibility in line with legislative criteria and is more in depth (so often required for jobs such as solicitors or accountants) and enhanced level is a detailed check (required for those wishing to work with vulnerable people, for example).
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