union-imgcross icon
main-img

✨Limited Time Offer✨

Employer of Record in India at ($299) $169/month
Employer of Record in the United Kingdrom at ($499) $349/month

wdasds

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
union-imgcross icon
skuad logo

Hire, pay and manage your talent in 160+ countries.

wdasds

wdasds

wdasds

wdasds

wdasds

We respect your data. By submitting the form, you agree that we will contact you about our products and services, in accordance with our privacy policy.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
close icon
notification icon
 ✨ Access Skuad’s free Global Hiring Toolkit: E-books, guides, and more at your fingertips! ✨Explore now

Background check in the UK

Updated on:
16 Jan, 2024
Offer banner
G2 badge
Monthly
best value
Annually
Pay monthly at a discounted rate with a 12-month commitment
(Save upto 15%)
$
349
/month
(billed monthly)
G2 badge

Employ contractors and employees in 160+ countries

G2 badge
EOR in 
the United Kingdrom
Monthly
$
399
/month
(billed annually)
Annually
Pay monthly at a discounted rate with a 12-month commitment
$
349
/month
(billed monthly)
Offer banner
Offer banner
G2 badge

Employ contractors and employees in 160+ countries

Table of Content

select-drop-down-arrow

Building a remote team?

Employ exceptional talent, anywhere, anytime!

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Companies in the United Kingdom want to maintain a productive work environment. Conducting a background check in the UK can help them to ensure that they consistently hire employees who are qualified for the work and pose little to no risk. So Skuad conducts background checks when you partner with Skuad for EOR.

The law permits employers to conduct background checks regardless of the industry or position. However, an employee must authorize a background check, and employers must abide by the law during any checks to avoid compliance issues.

To compliantly run a background check in the UK, you must understand how the process works, types of background checks, requirements, benefits, and steps for conducting them.

What is an employee background check?

An employee background check is a detailed investigation of crucial areas of an employee’s recent history relevant to the position they want to occupy. A background check in the UK can reveal an individual’s credit, academic, employment, and criminal record history. Employers who learn how these checks work rely on them to guide hiring the best candidates.

One platform to grow your global team

Hire and pay talent globally, the hassle -free way with Skuad

Talk to an experteor pattern

What are the benefits of background checks in the UK?

Running a background check in the UK can help your business to get the best talents and avoid liabilities. Here are more reasons why employers in the UK run these checks:

  • Avoid threats to safety: Some individuals, regardless of talent, can be destructive. A background check in the UK can help you determine who might be a danger to your firm. If they have a history of vandalism or violence at their previous workplace, it should turn up in a background check.
  • Ease international relocation processing: The UK Government may deny foreigners with criminal records entry. If you do a background check on employees who would likely relocate, it saves you trouble. Working with a global hiring service like Skuad can help you facilitate your employee’s international relocation.
  • Reduce employee turnover rate: Onboarding new employees is not only a tiring process but a costly one. Hiring someone who becomes a liability might involve sacking them and hiring new employees at a greater rate. Besides the cost, high employee turnover discourages the best talents from joining a company.
  • Employ the most equipped professionals: Although you expect job applicants to present accurate work or academic data, some falsify documents. Background checks help you find accurate information.
  • Build a safe work environment: Employees thrive in an uplifting work environment. Employees are more likely to quit due to a toxic workplace. It can be tricky spotting toxic behavior in candidates, but digging deeper into their previous employment helps.

What are the types of background checks in the UK?

Companies in the UK schedule various checks for employment purposes. Although many exist, here are the most common background checks in the country:

Criminal record check in the UK

When hiring new employees, you want to be sure that they would not pose a threat to lives and property. A criminal record check in the UK is an investigation into a new employee’s history with law enforcement agencies.

Running a background check can help you avoid legal trouble, as employing unauthorized workers can cost you £20,000. Employers can order a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for candidates. Employees reserve the right to withhold certain information on their criminal records. An employee’s need to disclose information on their criminal record depends on these factors:

  • Nature of the crime or punishment
  • Time of sentence
  • Category of criminal record being investigated
  • If the position demands it

Application into specific childcare, general healthcare, or finance positions may require in-depth checks.  

Employment history verification in the UK

Verifying a candidate’s employment history before employing them is standard practice. People exhibit similar behaviors regardless of where they work. Thus, an employment history verification in the UK helps employers gain insight into what to expect from a new employee after hiring.

Applicants can request the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to get proof of employment history. Usually, the employee requests evidence of employment history. You will need them to give you written consent for this check.

You also can dig deeper into the employee’s work history by contacting previous employers. They can help you detect inconsistencies in the employee’s claims or CV content. Past employers will confirm if the employee truly worked for them. Further, they will confirm when they started and stopped working and why they left.

Medical screening

Employees do not need to divulge their medical history to potential employers. Ideally, employers should only ask for health checks from successful candidates. Employers must be clear about any health checks in the offer letter beforehand. Further, they must get consent from the employee before they proceed.

Credit history check

A credit history check gives insight into an employee’s borrowing habits and commercial history like bankruptcy claims, home repossession, or missed payments. However, it doesn’t show the individual’s account balance or student loans.  

Education history

Employers carry out education history checks to learn about a candidate’s qualifications. They can discover the validity of the certifications, including where and when they earned them. A comprehensive education history check can produce accurate and unadulterated results from the registrar’s office.

Social media background check in the UK

Employers conduct background checks on social media to better understand their employees. A social media background check in the UK involves viewing the candidate’s posts, comments, and associations online.

Requirements for background check in the UK

A pre-employment screening in the UK requires vital information from the employee. Thus, employers must request the candidate’s consent before running any checks. The information these checks need includes some of the following:

  • Full name of the applicant
  • Maiden name or aliases
  • Permanent home address
  • Current mobile and home numbers
  • Birth date
  • Photo ID
  • CV

Steps in conducting a background check in the UK

Doing a background check in the UK can be straightforward if you take the right steps. Here’s how to conduct a proper background check:

  • Design a practical and compliant background screening policy
  • Create a comprehensive job description and employee profile
  • Accept job applications and select the best applicants
  • Request permission to run background checks
  • Commence the background screening exercise
  • Compile the results and vet for accuracy
  • Hire ethically, without bias

Are employee background checks legal in the UK?

Background checks in the UK are legal. They enable businesses to avoid hiring persons who would be a threat to their goals. Many have avoided legal troubles and established legal compliance thanks to background checks.

An employee reserves the right not to approve of a background check. Similarly, you are within your rights not to hire them. However, the law forbids employers from not hiring employees after a background check due to discrimination.

Planning to hire in the UK? Here’s how Skuad can help

If you’re set to hire talent in the UK, a background check should be a priority, but it can be tedious. So we carry out background checks when you make Skuad your EOR partner.

With Skuad as your Employer of Record, we take care of performing background checks in the UK, along with managing the entire employment cycle for you.

At Skuad, we assist you in verifying employee documents and ensuring the utmost accuracy standards. Whether assisting with onboarding remote teams or preparing employees for international relocation, we simplify the process without hassle. Book a demo today! 

FAQs

What does a background check consist of in the UK?

A background check in the UK combines a thorough investigation of an employee’s criminal, academic, employment, and credit records with other vital aspects of their background. An employer may choose which background checks — usually the most relevant to the position — to implement.  

What makes you fail a background check in the UK?

A person can fail a pre-employment screening in the UK for various reasons. One such reason is falsifying work, academic, or personal documents. Another can be a criminal record. Having a poor credit history or unverifiable references can also create problems.

Are background checks required in the UK?

Background checks are not compulsory but may be required for specific positions. In the UK, employers conduct these checks on new employees in positions of trust. For instance, a criminal or financial crimes history check may be mandatory for chartered accountants. Meanwhile, a truck driver may be required to take a urine sample drug test.

How far do background checks go in the UK?

Background checks in the UK can go as far back as is relevant to the job. Employers and their HR units have a limited time to retain records of previous employees. Thus, these checks usually go back five to ten years.

What can employers see on a background check in the UK?

After concluding a background check, employers can discover a variety of information, such as the following:

  • An employment history of at least five years
  • International or local criminal record
  • Verification of permanent residence and ID
  • Credit history of the last five years or more
  • Long and unexplained employment gaps
  • Proof of authorization to work in the UK
limited-offer-banner
EOR in 
the United Kingdrom
Monthly
best value
Annually
Pay monthly at a discounted rate with a 12-month commitment
$
349
/month
(billed annually)
G2 badge

Employ contractors and employees in 160+ countries

G2 badge

Employ contractors and employees in 160+ countries

G2 badge
limited-offer-banner
EOR in 
the United Kingdrom
Monthly
$
399
/month
(billed annually)
Annually
Pay monthly at a discounted rate with a 12-month commitment
$
349
/month
(billed monthly)
G2 badge

Table of Content

Building a remote team?

Employ exceptional talent, anywhere, anytime!

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Skuad is the best solution to hire and expand globally.

Request demo
start hiring