The list of checks which employers run on applicants appears to be growing annually. Sometimes, the checks are down to government legislation. This is certainly the case for nationality and immigration checks. People applying for jobs in healthcare or education might, in addition, need to apply for a DBS check to show their criminal record. Most of the other types of checks are up to the employer. Some don’t do any. Most do a few. A smaller number of employers will invest a lot of time and effort into checking up on applicants. One of the checks you might come up against is the financial probity check. But what does this mean?
What sort of organisations run financial probity checks?
As the name suggests, financial probity checks are most commonly associated with the finance industry. This obviously includes work in banks and building societies, but might also include working in finance departments of other large organisations. Employers recruiting for any role which involves handling cash or moving other people’s money around might do financial checks. The idea behind the checks is reducing risk to members of the public, or company funds. There are a range of possible checks on people’s financial situation. Whatever the type of check, employers should explain clearly what it is all about.
Probity checks have a very limited and specific legal meaning. It is quite different to a credit referencing check, which employers might also do. A financial probity check involves searches of publicly available registers. These show two things. Firstly, there is a centrally held register of people who have been declared bankrupt and have not yet been discharged from bankruptcy. There is a second list of County Court Judgements. This is often abbreviated to CCJs. CCJs are awarded by the court if a debt goes unpaid. Lists are held of people who have CCJs which have not been settled.
This is all information which is open to the public and held on central registers. As the information is public, an employer doesn’t need your consent to run these checks. Many will also check that you are listed on the electoral register at the address you’ve given. You might also have to show your driving licence or a utility bill to prove your residence.
Credit Referencing Checks
The other types of financial checks are credit referencing checks. An employer will need your consent to do this sort of check. A credit referencing check isn’t just about looking at the serious stuff like CCJs and bankruptcies. It’s more about looking at the overall financial position of an applicant. The idea is to look at the overall level of debt, and whether the applicant is comfortably keeping up with paying their bills. Of course, you can’t automatically state that anyone with financial difficulties will commit fraud. But statistics show that it’s an increased risk of fraud. If a credit reference throws up potential issues, it might just mean the employer does a bit more digging.