Changes to DBS Checks

The Government has laid a statutory instrument to amend Disclosure and Barring Service filtering rules. Under the amendment, a number of changes would apply to what is shown on both standard and enhanced DBS certificates.

What are the proposed changes?

The requirement to automatically disclose the following would be removed:

  • youth convictions
  • reprimands and warnings
  • the ‘multiple conviction rule’ for minor offences (child or adult)

Why does the government want the amendment?

The amendment is designed to ensure that those who reformed after having made mistakes in their youth are not disproportionately disadvantaged by earlier wrongdoing. It should also ensure that children and the vulnerable remain protected as the rules surrounding disclosure of adult wrongdoing remain the same. That is to say that serious adult offences which received a custodial sentence, are recent or unspent, will continue to be disclosed.

Will this be beneficial?

If the statutory instrument passes the House of Lords and the House of Commons, it should aid those who have received childhood cautions or committed minor offences from which they have since reformed.

What does this mean for employers?

If successful, the changes should not make a great deal of difference for most employers. However, it could make a difference for those employers who work with the vulnerable and with children. The amendment is due to be debated in the house of lords and the house of commons later this year.