For the latest updates on Screening during COVID-19 – click here

How Reed Screening has adapted to conditions presented by the pandemic

What's next in screening and recruitment?

This pandemic has required everybody to make huge adjustments to their lives. The same goes for businesses. Those who are unable to adapt to this new environment are going to struggle.

Keith Rosser, Director Reed Screening

Reed Screening understands this. Over the past few weeks, we’ve not only made numerous changes to how we go about what we do, we’ve encouraged others to make changes too. This has helped organisations to get the staff they need, when they most need them.

Here is an overview of all the changes we’ve made so far.

Fast-Track Recruitment Service: taking hours rather than days

Reed Screening has successfully lobbied the UK government to make changes to its legislation in light of COVID-19. This has allowed us to introduce our fast-track service. The combination of legislative changes and our 24/7 onshore UK office has meant that we’ve been able to cut screening and employment times from days to hours, all at no extra cost.

Remote identification for right-to-work

Through our relationships with the Home Office, DBS and Disclosure Scotland, we were able to lobby for the relaxation of right-to-work checks. With face-to-face checks rendered almost impossible by social distancing, all three organisations supported amendments to their processes and legislation to enable copy documents to be used.

This has now been extended to contractors in the public sector and the NHS. And we are  maintaining a continuous dialogue with all three organisations on right-to-work checks so to stay up to date.

DBS checks

We have made two key changes with regard to DBS checks since the onset of the pandemic.

Firstly, we are offering a free DBS check service for emergency workers. These means that Reed Screening will process free DBS checks for people working in frontline healthcare roles within the NHS (you can contact us for more information on this service).

The second change is that we are offering fast-track DBS clearance for care workers. We understand that care staff are required to start their roles urgently, that’s why Reed Screening is offering Fast-Track Adult Barred List Checking for any workers going into a role with vulnerable adults. We aim for these to have a same-day turnaround, meaning applicants can often begin work on the day they are hired.

Disclosure Scotland checks

We have implemented a fully digital solution for processing Disclosure Scotland applications, including protecting vulnerable group checks, with prioritisation for vital roles which are supporting the country at this time.

Fees for these checks have been suspended for at least 4 weeks.

Compassionate credit

We’re supporting employers and prospective employees alike with our compassionate credit service. We are working with the government and our financial services partners to automatically exclude any adverse credit information related to COVID-19 from our employment checks.

This means circumstances beyond your control will not prevent you from getting the job you want.

Referencing alternatives

As you’ll know, businesses are solely focused on surviving this turbulent period. This has a knock-on effect when it comes to obtaining references.

To counter this, we have designed solutions to ensure that recruitment is not delayed by a difficulty in securing references. We do this without relying on responses from previous employers who may not be trading or are operating at severely reduced capacity.

In-Post Checks

Whether it's new hires to cope with increased demand, or just tenured staff operating with less oversight in these unprecedented circumstances, a business's greatest overlooked threat is internal fraud.

Reed Screening's 24/7 In-Post Checks service ensures that the people in your organisation have the business's best interests at heart and are of unimpeachable integrity. It also means that you have one less thing to worry about in these troubling times.

What’s next for the employment screening sector?

While we’re proud of the way we’ve been able to react so far to this unprecedented situation, we’re continually evaluating what else both Reed Screening, and the industry as a whole, can do to help get people into jobs as quickly and safely as possible.

It’s often said that crisis is a driver of innovation. The digital changes which have been implemented for this crisis could be the long-term future for employment screening.

Before the crisis hit, we launched the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) Inquiry - Parliamentary Review of Screening. We are seeking the views of business about where the screening sector should head next.

This crisis has accelerated the implementation of many changes we had been urging the government to make. The APPG’s revised aim will be to lobby for the retention of changes we have influenced during the crisis.

The review is being extended due to COVID-19 but will go ahead later in the year. If you would like to have some input into the next steps for our sector, please get in touch with me.

After all, who knows what the next changes may be?