A suitable case for recruitment

 Information law overlaps with employment law in two main ways, in relation to employment vetting and employment monitoring. Broadly speaking vetting is about the enquiries that an employer can make before recruitment, and monitoring is about checking on the performance and behavior of existing employees.

The legal framework for employment vetting is changing radically, as the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 is brought into force. The Act implements the Bichard Report, which followed an inquiry into the notorious 2002 Soham murders. It establishes a new vetting and barring scheme for those working with children or vulnerable adults, to be operated by a statutory body called the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA).

With effect from 20th January 2009, the ISA was given responsibility for decision-making under the 3 existing employment barring lists: the education list, (popularly known as “List 99”), the PoCA list (for those working with children) and the PoVa list (for those working with vulnerable adults). As from 12th October 2009 these 3 lists will be replaced by two new lists introduced by section 2 of the 2006 Act and maintained by the ISA –  the children’s barred list and the adults’ barred list.  Employers, social services and professional regulators will have a duty to share information with the ISA. From July 2010, new entrants to roles working with vulnerable groups and those switching jobs within the sector will be able to register with the ISA, and employers will be able to check registration status online. The legal requirement for new entrants and those moving jobs to register with the ISA, and for employers to check on their status, will come into force by November 2010. The intention is to bring the whole of the existing workforce into the scheme by 2015.

I will be delivering a paper about employment vetting at the Local Government Group conference on 29th April, and the paper will be available on 11KBW’s website after the conference.  For consideration of whether the existing PoVA list is compatible with articles 6 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, see R (ota Wright) v Secretary of State [2009] UKHL 3.  For the timetable for implementing the 2006 Act, see here and here.