Government to issue new guidelines on mental health background checks
Lying about qualifications has always been one of those ‘grey areas’ for job applicants. Who’s going to check if you bump your GCSE Geography grade up from a D to a C? At least, that seems to be the opinion of thousands of people who routinely lie on their CVs.
The Home Office will issue new guidelines to provide further clarity on whether mental health crises should be disclosed in background checks on people applying for certain types of jobs.
These new instructions will only apply to disclosure and barring service (DBS) checks, which are compulsory for anyone wanting to work with vulnerable people or children. Campaigners argue that the current system means some workers are excluded from jobs when they do not need to be, theguardian.com reports.
Now, police will look into several factors to determine whether detention under the Mental Health Act needs to be disclosed on criminal record certificates. They will examine how long ago the episode took place, and the person’s behaviour throughout – among other details – before making a decision.
The guidance also states that if details are provided to potential employers, the certificate needs to make it clear why the information is relevant to the person’s job application.
Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, is pleased about the new guidelines. He said: “There is no reason why having a mental health problem or having been previously detained under the Mental Health Act should necessarily be a red flag when it comes to DBS checks.
“This guidance is an important next step in providing greater clarity, but there is still room to go further.”