Basic DBS Checks for Christmas Jobs?

It’s that time of year when everyone’s gearing up for Christmas. It’s the busiest time of year for retailers, the hospitality industry and the Royal Mail, and this can mean that it’s a great time to earn some extra cash too. Temporary Christmas work is widely available, but if you’re thinking of applying, there might be some hoops you have to jump through first in terms of paperwork and basic DBS checks.

Where DBS Doesn’t Apply

For many Christmas temporary jobs, DBS checking doesn’t apply. Employers can’t decide whether or not they want to run checks on their staff. The government sets out the list of occupations which require one of the three levels of DBS checking and employers must stick to their guidance. Retail or restaurant jobs generally don’t require DBS checking. Employers might ask if you have a criminal record, but this isn’t the same thing as a basic DBS check. If you’re being employed to work in the cash office rather than on the shop floor, you might qualify for basic DBS checks, depending on the role.

Christmas Post and Basic DBS Checks

One of the best known types of temporary Christmas jobs is working on the Christmas post. This is usually taken to mean Royal Mail, but could also be a temporary job with one of the major courier companies. You’ll be the person delivering all of those internet shopping orders. Most of the large courier companies will ask their employees to undergo a basic DBS check. This is the least detailed level of checking, and will flag up whether you have any unspent convictions only. Having a criminal record with unspent convictions won’t automatically block you from getting a job. It’s usually best to be open and honest at interview stage so that information disclosed on a DBS form doesn’t come as a shock.

Enhanced DBS Checks for Christmas Jobs

There are only a few categories of temporary Christmas jobs which will require a more detailed level of checking. Enhanced DBS checks are only carried out for people who are going to be working closely with children or vulnerable adults. The classic example is a department store Santa Claus. It could also include someone in charge of organising children’s parties in a restaurant or temporary childcare workers providing a creche at a Christmas party.

Getting Basic DBS Checks Done

Depending on the role, the employer could ask you to wait until your DBS check is done before starting work. It’s in your own interests to get the ball rolling quickly. You’ll be asked to complete an application form, and show originals of identity documents. These include passport, driving licence or utility bills. The processing time for basic DBS checks will vary depending on where you are in the country. You can do your bit in keeping things as speedy as possible by making sure you double check the application form for errors, and ensuring you have the originals of the identity and address documents which you’ll be asked for to submit the forms.

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