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Disclosure and Barring Services Checks and Deductions in England and Wales

There is no doubt that Employers and Employees often ponder who is responsible for bearing the cost of a DBS check.  Has it ever occurred in your workplace?

The Government indicates that the fee for a Disclosure and Barring Service Bureau check (known as a DBS check and formerly known as a CRB check) is the liability of the individual upon whom that check is being undertaken.

In this respect, any deduction made from the worker’s pay to pay for the DBS check on his or her behalf will NOT therefore reduce national minimum wage pay since it is paid over by the employer to a third party to meet the liability of the worker.

As a Disclosure and Barring Service check is a requirement for securing the employment and, unlike an expense, which does not arise from performing the job itself, the cost of a DBS check is NOT considered an expense for the national minimum wage purposes.

The employee can make a payment to the employer to cover the cost of the DBS and if that is the case, the amount of the payment will not need to be reduced from the employee’s national minimum wage pay.

However, if the employer imposes an administrative charge for handling the application, then the amount of the administrative charge will reduce the worker’s national minimum wage pay.

If the worker is not charged for a Disclosure and Barring Service check but the employer pays the cost directly to a third party on behalf of the worker and does not seek to recover the cost, the amount paid does not count towards national minimum wage pay as it is not a payment being made to the worker.

If you require any clarity on any of the above aspects or concepts, please do not hesitate to contact our Employment team.

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