As we are only just starting now to unfortunately discover, there have been lots of unforeseen consequences of leaving the EU as a result of Brexit. And one big area it has affected is the whole process of safeguarding. For those that are unfamiliar with the term, safeguarding is the practice of protecting those who are vulnerable from any harm and exploitation when they are being cared for by others who are in a position of responsibility or when they are at work.
People who live here domestically in the UK, are subject to DBS checks. Which is essentially a comprehensive check that will raise any red flags it finds to the employer in question. However, since we have left the EU, we have since lost access to the SIS which is the Schengen Information System. This system, similar to the DBS was used to share information in regards to security and law enforcement.
Today we are going to take a closer look at what has changed and more importantly reiterate that the safeguarding process we have in place in the UK is as stringent and robust as ever. We will also see how DBS checks still play a crucial part in keeping those who are vulnerable and being looked after, safe from harm and ensure they are only being cared for by those who are responsible to undertake such as task.
What effect has Brexit had?
Before leaving the EU, all of our laws were based on EU legislation, but since we have left these have been open to change. And so we have since been left without important pieces of legislation such as Article 3.3 on the Treaty of the European Union which safeguards children and has protective measures in place. However, thankfully, the UK government is working hard to push through an almost identical piece of legislation.
So how does this affect DBS checks? Well since we have left the EU, many laws and legislations have almost been thrown in the air. However, it’s safe to say, that, if we were to deviate from anything that was in place before, there would be many issues both nationally and internationally. So ethically, we can expect everything to remain unchanged.
In this sense, DBS checks are still going to be the commonplace process for screening and an imperative part of the safeguarding process as a whole. We may see something may replace or the name change of enhanced DBS checks as more of a permanent measure but for now, they are here to say. And DBS checks, formally known as CRB checks, have always proven to be the most effective way of checking someone’s background and have made a huge impact on the safeguarding process overall.
The good news
The good news is that DBS checks fall under UK law. And other countries within the EU did have their systems in place to support safeguarding. The only issue that may arise is that DBS checks may not be as comprehensive as ideally expected if that person has recently moved to the UK, and so they don’t have an extensive history here in the UK. However, if they have been here in the UK for a few years enhanced DBS checks will return as much information as necessary to the likes of potential employers.
If you are an employer and you find yourself with an applicant who has undergone a DBS check but has only recently come to the UK, you are freely entitled to ask them to contact the respective authorities in their home country so that their version of a DBS check can be carried out there so you are getting a sufficient amount of information about that person.
Overall, thankfully, the implications of Brexit on the screening and safeguarding process aren’t as severe as many would have feared, with many of the processes in place at the moment remaining the same. However, our withdrawal has left a void of legislation that needs to be replaced by the UK government rather promptly. It remains UK law for enhanced DBS checks to be carried out in certain industries such as social care and the healthcare sector where vulnerable people are being looked after by people in positions of authority over them.