New legislation under Section 56 of the Data Protection Act 1998 has come in to effect from the 10th of March 2015 prohibiting employers and other parties from using the DPA’s subject access request rights to request criminal records as a compulsory requirement for employment, or as a requirement for entering a contract to provide services.
Requiring individuals to exercise their subject access request rights under the DPA to provide potential employers with their criminal records has historically been a method for circumventing the formal requirements for DBS checks. It will be more important than ever for companies acquiring background checking services to ensure their providers are fully background checking compliant with all data protection regulations
For further information, see:
*The Ministry of Justice Website: http://www.justice.gov.uk/information-access-rights/data-protection
The Information Commissioner’s Office: https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/news-and-events/news-and-blogs/2015/03/law-change-outlaws-back-door-criminal-record-check/
And the Data Protection Act 1998: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/29/section/56