Case study – Danny – Failings in the DBS eligibility investigation process meant that my employers became aware of my spent conviction and terminated my contract

Danny contacted our helpline for some advice after his employer, a company selling disability aids, had requested an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for his role as a driver/technician, stating that he would be required to instruct and train ‘vulnerable’ adults in the use of some of the equipment he was delivering.

In the couple of weeks that he had been doing the job, Danny had only delivered pillows, walking sticks and wheelchairs and had never given instruction or training to any of his customers. He felt that his job would probably only require a basic (DBS) check and wanted to know how he could challenge his company. As his conviction was spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act and wouldn’t appear on a basic (DBS) check Danny was keen that his employer carry out the correct level of check.

We advised him to agree to the enhanced check and then immediately raise it by email as an ineligibility query with the DBS.

Danny followed our advice and at the same time also informed the DBS that the company were carrying out checks on a further three employees who were all doing the same job as himself.

Several days later, Danny was contacted by the DBS who confirmed that they had put his application on hold whilst they investigated the eligibility of the check although they were unable to consider the eligibility for the other three employees. During the conversation the DBS stated that Danny’s employer had given his job title as an Outreach Support Worker which he queried. He was told that the DBS were unable to question job titles with employers or Registered Bodies.

Despite providing the DBS with copies of Danny’s job description, contract of employment and a breakdown of his deliveries, the DBS contacted him several weeks later to confirm that following investigation they believed that his role would be eligible for an enhanced DBS check.

Danny decided that the only option open to him would be to arrange to speak to his employer about his conviction and hand over the enhanced DBS certificate to them.

Danny contacted us several days later to let us know that he’d had a meeting with the company’s General Manager who immediately terminated his contract.

 

 

Lessons

This case demonstrates some of the failings we’ve identified in the processing of criminal record checks by the DBS. In this case, the DBS were unable to put on hold all the checks which were being undertaken by Danny’s company on other employees doing the same job. In addition, they would not investigate why his employers were quoting a different role on the DBS application form, something we believe is an integral part of the investigative process.

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Notes about this case study

This case study relates to Unlock’s casework.

Names and details have been changed to protect the identity of those involved.

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