During the Covid-19 pandemic, much of the focus has been on shoring up existing delivery and, where possible, extending arrangements if it is not possible to re-procure.
In the Court’s ruling, it was decided that the disclosure of old convictions and cautions was incompatible with Article 8, the right to private and family life. The Court accepted that the purpose of disclosure did pursue the general legitimate aims of:
- protecting employers, children and vulnerable adults in their care; and
- enabling employers to assess whether an individual was suitable for a specific kind of work.
However, the conclusion of the Judgment is that the "statutory regime of obtaining CRB checks disclosing all previous convictions and cautions is disproportionate to that legitimate aim".
Whilst employers and others working with children and vulnerable adults have a right to know about an applicant’s criminal history, this must be balanced against disclosing historical and trivial information, which is now highly likely to breach a persons right to respect for private life. The Government intends to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.
Our advice following the Court’s ruling is to continue obtaining DBS checks where prospective employees will be working in regulated activity with children or vulnerable adults. However, careful consideration will now need to be given to any issues that do arise as a result of obtaining a DBS check and the relevance of those issues or any cautions that arise will need to be considered in relation to the nature of the job and whether the person truly poses an unacceptable risk. In the case before the Court of Appeal a warning given to the Claimant when he was aged 11, relating to two stolen bicycles, was seen to be irrelevant when considering his application for a university course where he would be working with children.
Since 1 December 2012 the Criminal Records Bureau and Independent Safeguarding Authority merged to become the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). Therefore, pleasebe aware that, whilst the case referred to the CRB, it will now be referred to as the DBS, not the CRB.
For more information
For more information on the impact of the ruling or to discuss your organisations approach to DBS checks, please contact Kate Watkins on 0121 212 7494 or email@example.com.
The Prime Minister announced on Tuesday 22 September a new range of restrictions to protect us from the Covid crisis, some of which will apply to charities.
Following the end of the possession stay on 21 September, Helen Tucker & Rebecca Sembuuze from our housing litigation team discuss the most recent guidance, priority cases and what to expect in court.
Covid-19 has resulted, on the whole, in a marked co-operation between contracting authorities and their suppliers as everybody focuses on maintaining delivery as far as possible.
Employment Tribunal rules in favour of claimants in minimum wage case – has the interpretation of “working time” changed?
As we enter a recession, we have been here before, and a key question is what did we learn and how can we benefit from that learning?
It is anticipated that as lockdown restrictions ease, and particularly with children and young adults returning to education, cases of meningitis will start to rise.
As we continue to emerge from lockdown measures and deal with local measures and the short and long term economic impact of Covid-19, local authorities will need to re-assess how services will be delivered for years to come.
The Government first announced plans for a shared ownership right to buy in October 2019. At the time the sector raised concerns about the impact the plans would have on housing associations ability to borrow. An election and a pandemic later the Government announced, during the CIH Housing Festival last week, the return of the right to shared ownership as part of its Affordable Homes Programme (AHP).
Two final pieces of the possession jigsaw have been published on 15 September 2020. Mr Justice Knowles’ working group on possession proceedings has issued its guidance on the “overall arrangements” for possession proceedings.
To receive invitations to our events, as well as information and articles on legal issues and sector developments that are of interest to you, please sign up to Newsroom.