Employers and Businesses Conducting Background Checks on Overseas Workers to Protect themselves while Recruiting

There is a significant change in the number of people looking for work internationally today as compared to a decade or two ago. With massive changes in airfare prices and better means of communication, people are more open to travelling far since they are in touch with their families back home and could travel back without too much trouble. Last year saw the highest number of non-EU citizens migrating and working in the UK, as compared to people from the EU, with information that was being studied and reviewed since 2006. A little less than 200,000 non-British citizens moved to the UK searching for work while working for a minimum of one year while others stayed there a lot longer. The Office of National Statistics estimates that 34% of all long-term migration to the UK for work, study, family and other reasons.

Currently, the UK is home to the sixth-largest global economy with various international businesses setting up, which makes it the perfect place for ambitious graduates to start their careers. Other than the Coronavirus making changes to the employment rate in the UK, more than 32 million people are working in the United Kingdom.

Last year, a little over six million non-British nationals were living in the UK with the migrant population largely living and working in London. Statistically, around 35% of people living in the UK were born abroad, live in the capital city. Similarly, 37% of people living in London were born outside the UK, compared with 14% for the UK as a whole.

Additionally, when it comes to getting jobs in the UK, there are several requirements that applicants have to get through. One of the most significant is their struggle with getting the right paperwork, and if they are from another country, they have to make sure they have the correct visas. They are generally subject to immigration control, creating and sending applications to the Home Office for permission to enter and work in the UK. These permissions vary depending on the amount of time that they want to spend in the UK.

There were many changes to the employment process in the UK, especially with the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic. A lot of the people working in the UK decided that they should make their way home before the lockdowns. Additionally, businesses were not adjusting to remote working, with a large number of people losing their jobs and many companies shutting down as well.

A large number of people entering the UK looking for work, join the unskilled sector where they get their hands on minimal jobs to manage for themselves. Furthermore, there is a lot they have to handle when they are getting their paperwork and other processes together to work at the skilled department. A process that they would begin and additionally start changing jobs and working for better prospects.

Additionally, there are challenges for employers when they are picking people who are not from the UK. Employers and business owners have to be aware of and comply with the rules of hiring non-UK national workers or overseas workers in the UK. Getting that pick the wrong people could get in trouble with the authorities in terms of fines, loss of key talent and reputational harm. Putting specific measures in place protects them from falling foul of unwanted Home Office scrutiny and penalties.

Every person in the UK has the right to work to support themselves. All workers, regardless of nationality, must provide employers and prospective employers documentary proof that they are eligible to work in the UK. Likewise, all employers must obtain, check and maintain records to prove that they verified all employees’ and their right to carry out their role.

To make sure they are picking from the best, the employers in the UK handle a series of background checks ensuring they select the right people. Employers had to make sure their picks did not have a criminal record, would be a good fit for the current teams they were on, and be able to get through the position they were hiring for.

One of the easiest ways they could get through the process was through a DBS check. However, the process only works for people who are living within the country and planning on getting work.

Running a CRB check on a person living abroad is not possible, since the Disclosure and Barring Service cannot go through records held in other countries or overseas. However, companies can complete a background check through other means.
  • A small number of records are sometimes stored on the Police National Computer, and it flags any crimes committed in the UK or abroad.
  • Contacting the embassy or High Commission of the country they are from is another useful tool. These usually provide background checks and translation services to understand any documents provided.
  • For a detailed criminal background check get in touch with the Centre for Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) which provides protective security advice for companies and organisations in the UK, along with 62 other countries.
  • Employers can obtain a certificate of good conduct and regular references from past and previous employers which adds an extra layer of security to your checks.

However, employers can gather information of people based in the UK through a CRB application, but only provides a background check and the possibility of a criminal record which were or were not prosecuted. However, some positions need more information than that, and in such cases, an enhanced DBS check serves the purpose. The provides information about any misdemeanours and any bad conduct relating to specific age groups. The information gathered provides employers knowledge on whether they would work well with younger people, for instance, in a daycare or with older individuals in a nursing home.

For Government-approved CRB Application and DBS check see