As of 10 March 2015, it is an offence for employers to require job applicants and employees to disclose a copy of their criminal record.
This offence of requiring provision of criminal records was created in Section 56 Data Protection Act 1998 but has only just come into force. The Information Commissioner has
described the practice as ‘back-door’ and the conduct of ‘rogue employers’.
Where employers need to verify the criminal history of an individual in order to protect their business, they should seek disclosure via the Disclosure and Barring service. Schools have been accustomed to this practice for many years but should bear in mind this strict requirement whenever there is a need to review criminal history.