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New Bribery Act In UK Penalises Companies For Failure To Screen Employees

G4S Secure Solutions (UK And Ireland) : 11 April, 2011  (Technical Article)
G4S is warning companies to be more vigilant in screening employees with up to a quarter of CVs containing inaccurate information and prosecution powers now in force for failure to adequately screen employees

G4S Employment Screening and Vetting, part of G4S Secure Solutions (UK) is warning that employers face the risk of prosecution under the new Bribery Act if they fail to screen and vet their employees. The company says that up to one in four CVs contains significant inaccuracies, lies or discrepancies, and that firms could be accused of failing to undertake sufficient due diligence should they fail to develop procedures to perform appropriate checks on their staff.

The Bribery Act has raised concerns among company directors, many of whom are unsure as to how strictly it will be implemented, and who are confused about issues such as whether foreign companies listed in London will be subject to the Act. The Government has stated that the Act will come into force three months after its guidance is produced.

G4S believes that by failing to undertake basic screening and vetting programmes, employers are in danger of employing unsuitable staff, who could compromise the reputation of the company, and ultimately could expose a business to prosecution under the Act. Standard screening processes used by specialists such as G4S include credit checks, criminal record checking and employment history, which can reveal previous instances of dishonest behaviour or financial problems.

Adrian Taylor, Managing Director, G4S Employment Screening and Vetting, said: “Compliance and risk mitigation in the recruitment process is increasingly important for organisations, and the Bribery Act is just another example of increased people-related regulatory compliance demands on companies. Our experience shows that people frequently hide things from their employer; the difference now is that if a criminal act takes place, it will be incumbent on the employer to prove that it has performed sufficient background checks on the individual concerned.”

G4S says that the Act will act as a driver to raise the level of due diligence carried out by the human resources function of companies.

Adrian Taylor continues: “The Bribery Act is just part of a pattern of increasing regulation that will transform comprehensive screening and vetting for employees from a ‘nice to have’ to a core HR process.  Businesses are becoming very aware of their duty of care to employees and customers and in a globalised marketplace, establishing an individual’s identity, employment status and credentials is absolutely vital.”

G4S employs a team of highly trained and experienced staff to deliver both structured screening services to comply with British Standards and bespoke packages according to each individual customer’s need.  The services provided include:

* BS7858 compliant screening

* Payment card industry – Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) compliant screening

* Criminal record checking as an umbrella body of the CRB and Disclosure Scotland

* Right to work confirmation

* Media checks

* Multi-year employment checks

* Character and educational references

* Professional qualifications and  membership verifications

* Directorship checks

* ID verification (visa, work permits, passports)

* Residency verification (UK and abroad)

* Credit checks

* County Court Judgements (CCJs) and Bankruptcy checks.

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