Pre-employment screening is the foundation of good personnel security. It seeks to verify the credentials of those you are seeking to grant access to your sites and information, and to check that they meet preconditions of employment (e.g. that they are legally permitted to take up an offer of employment).
Pre-employment screening can be used to confirm an applicant’s identity, nationality and immigration status, and to verify their declared skills and employment history. It may also raise concerns about the integrity and reliability of an applicant, for example:
- involvement in illegal activities;
- unspent criminal convictions relevant to the role, particularly if not volunteered by the applicant and only revealed by other checks;
- false or unsubstantiated claims on the CV or application form;
- unsubstantiated qualifications;
- unexplained gaps in employment history;
- adverse references;
- questionable documentation e.g. lack of supporting paperwork or concern that documents are not genuine; or
- evasiveness or unwillingness to provide information on the part of the candidate.
Other stages of the recruitment process also give opportunities to screen candidates. Interviews, in particular, will help to form an opinion of their character. Credit reports can provide assurance that there are no significant credit or debt problems that could place the individual in a vulnerable position.
Employing migrant workers
Information for employers on employing migrant workers can be found on the UK Visas and Immigration pages (UKVI). Employers may be subject to a civil penalty for employing migrants with no entitlement to work in the UK. Comprehensive guidance can be found on the illegal working penalties page on the UKVI website .
Employers should be aware of the points-based system (PBS) for migrants coming to work from outside the European Economic area and Switzerland, which is controlled by UKVI. Prospective employees must pass a points-based test under one of the tiers operating under the PBS. Points are awarded on ability, experience, salary, ability to speak English and, when appropriate, the level of economic need within the sector they will be working in. Tiers 1, 2, 4 and 5 of the PBS are operational, whilst Tier 3 is closed. Detailed guidance can be found on the UKVI website.
Employers should also be aware of the Biometric Residence Permits (BRPs) for migrants coming to work in the UK. All migrants from outside the EEA and Switzerland granted permission to stay in the UK for more than six months must apply for a BRP. This is to comply with EU regulations. Further information can be found on the UKVI website.
National security vetting
The national security vetting regime applies to certain employment positions which give access to protectively marked government information, or access to potential physical targets of terrorist attack and/or information that would be of use to terrorists.