In the course of pre-employment checks a number of factors may, individually or in combination, raise concerns about the integrity or reliability of the applicant.
These factors include:
- 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
- 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. Checks, tests and interviews help the employer to assess the integrity and reliability of the candidate.
Pre-employment checks can be used to confirm an applicant's identity, nationality and immigration status, and to verify their declared skills and employment history.
Have you overcome all the hurdles? Are you complying with the points-based system for employing migrant workers?
Employers within the National Infrastructure should be aware of the points-based system (PBS) controlled by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) and identity cards for foreign nationals (ICFNs) coming to work in the UK.
The PBS replaced over eighty existing routes to work and study in the UK for those outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. The system consists of five tiers with the number of points required dependent on the tiers applied under. Points are awarded on ability, experience, age and, when appropriate, the level of economic need within the sector the migrant will be working in. Tiers 1, 2, 4 and 5 of the PBS are operational, whilst Tier 3 is currently suspended.
The compulsory biometric ICFN was introduced in November 2008 and is for migrants from outside the EEA and Switzerland. Everyone who successfully applies to extend their stay in the UK, or who comes to the UK for more than six months, will need to have an ICFN by April 2011. For example, from January 2010, all sponsored skilled workers have been required to obtain an ICFN if they apply to extend their stay in the UK under Tier 2 of the PBS.
Detailed guidance can be found on all matters relating to immigration, the PBS and ICFNs at the UKBA website. The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) website contains information on the UK identity card scheme and implications arising from its cancellation.
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.