January 4th, 2019 | Sterling

Top five blogs of 2018: Insights to enhance your screening programme in 2019

The beginning of a new year is a good time to reflect on the past 12 months and start considering your background screening needs for the year ahead. Some of the big topics of last year will continue to be important issues for employers this year, so we thought we’d share our five most popular blog posts from 2018, to help you plan your screening in 2019.

Social Media Screening: How to Avoid Risk When Hiring

Social media screening was a hot topic in 2018, and will continue to play a significant role in the recruitment process this year. However, whilst it can provide valuable insight into a candidate, there are compliance risks involved if hiring decisions are influenced by information found online that you aren’t allowed to use, such as protected characteristics. To avoid the risk of a discrimination claim, employers must therefore ensure hiring decisions are based solely on information that’s relevant to the job role. It’s also important to remain transparent by informing candidates that you intend to carry out social media checks – and don’t forget to obtain their consent first too. For more on this, read the full blog here.

Brexit, Immigration and Its Impact on the Global Workforce

As the Brexit conversation continues into 2019, it’s important for employers who recruit foreign nationals to be up-to-speed on immigration rules and hiring compliance. As things stand right now, the UK is set to leave the EU on 29 March, after which a transition period will run until 31 December 2020. Although there is still uncertainty around Brexit, it’s crucial that employers continue to carry out Right to Work checks on all employees, to avoid the risk of a fine (although it’s worth noting that Brexit may affect the Right to Work documentation, process and rules, so keep an eye on this in 2019). Also, if you have a global workforce, ensure you minimise risk by partnering with a provider like Sterling to implement a global background screening programme. Read more on this blog here.

Tips for Being Compliant When Considering the Results of Criminal Record Checks

Sterling’s 2018 Background Checks report found that 58% of businesses now perform criminal record checks. This blog looked at the three types of criminal record checks available – basic, standard and enhanced; and how factors such as the Ban the Box campaign and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) have impacted businesses when performing checks. It also examined how employers can ensure they remain compliant and make safe, fair hiring decisions when interpreting the results of criminal background checks and communicating with candidates. For instance, you must have a written policy in place on the suitability of ex-offenders for employment, which is available to potential and existing employees; and you must discuss the content of the disclosure with the applicant before withdrawing any offer of employment. Read about all of this in more detail here.

GDPR and Background Check Considerations for Employers

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into force in May 2018, was another hot topic last year, and followed months of speculation on how it would impact businesses and the way they collect, store and process personal data. As background checking can often involve significant personal data processing, it’s vital that employers ensure their background screening programme is GDPR-compliant, so this blog reflected on Sterling’s useful GDPR checklist to help ensure compliance, while giving guidance on how to create a GDPR-compliant background screening policy. Read more on this blog here.

What are Employer’s Obligations Regarding Right to Work Checks?

Every employer has a legal obligation to carry out Right to Work checks on an employee’s eligibility to work in the UK. Checks must be completed before employment and follow-up checks must be performed for employees with time-limited permission to work in the UK. There are huge financial risks if employers get it wrong – failure to follow obligations could result in businesses being fined up to £20,000 for each illegal worker found in their employment. The blog therefore outlines the three-step Right to Work check process that employers must follow, and gives tips on checking Right to Work documents to ensure they remain compliant. Read the blog in full here.

This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.