Background checks can be confusing. It’s important that you follow the right steps, so you can’t be accused of negligent hiring or discrimination.

Here’s what you need to know:

Right to work in the UK

Check your employee has the right to work in the UK.  If you haven’t done this, you can be fined up to £10,000!

You can ask candidates to present their passport, visa or work permit.

Health checks

You are allowed to conduct a health check if it’s a legal requirement, or if the job requires it.
Some examples include:

• Eye checks for lorry drivers or pilots
• Health checks for courier insurance

To protect yourself, before conduct a health check, you should:

• Only do this for successful candidate
• Give details of the health check requirements in the offer letter
• Get written consent before asking for a doctor’s report

Don’t forget, that if you refuse to hire somebody based on a disability that doesn’t stop them from performing their job, you could face prosecution.

CRB checks (or DBS checks)

For certain roles, mostly those that involve working with kids or vulnerable people, you’ll need to conduct a CRB check.

However, if one isn’t required, it is illegal to refuse somebody a based on their previous convictions.

You can check a candidate’s criminal record through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
Driving licence check

It’s important that you check your employee holds the right license for the vehicle they will be required to drive.

Click here to see government guidelines


When checking references, be specific about the information you want to know. Here are some facts you should generally check:

• Employment dates
• Role
• Level of responsibility
• Performance
• Attendance
• Ability

You should never ask about personal information – some employers will only provide factual information anyway. If an employer is reluctant to provide a reference or answer some of your questions, this could tell you something.

Be upfront

If you’re upfront with candidates about the checks you’re going to undertake, you’ll likely discouraging dishonesty.

By Tirebuck Recruitment, one of the Solihull Job Agencies