Employer's legal duty to refer to the DBS

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We have published new guidance, in collaboration with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), explaining when employers have a legal duty to refer employees to the DBS.

There are several instances where an employer must make a referral, including when they have concern that an individual may have harmed a child or member of a vulnerable group, or put them at risk of harm. If your legal duty is met as an employer but you do not refer, you could be liable for a £5,000 fine. 

The new guidance aims to help ensure employers have the knowledge and confidence about when referrals should be made, by whom and how. See full details about the conditions for referring on the guidance page.

Making a referral

Referrals can be made either via an online referral form or by post and should include information that helps the DBS to make a barring decision and any relevant internal or external investigative and disciplinary procedures. 

The DBS rely on the quality of information they receive from employers when they make barring decisions and can use them to build a picture of someone who may cause harm through time.

Read the full details on the guidance page.


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