Straw pledges tougher approach on employers' access to records
The bureau is the Government's response to public concerns that paedophiles are able to obtain jobs working with children, and that violent criminals can find employment in the security industry. It will enable employers to vet prospective workers by checking their past criminal convictions for a flat pounds 10 fee.
Lord Haskins, the chairman of the Better Regulation Task Force, warned last May that the bureau could destroy the job prospects of many people from deprived backgrounds. The bureau risked creating a checking culture that could have harmful effects, such as unreasonably increasing the shortage of male teachers who are needed in schools as role models for boys.
Yesterday the Government said it accepted the task force's key recommendations and would review the way the bureau was to be regulated. It would also issue new guidelines to employers to ensure that it was not used unnecessarily.
A Home Office spokesman said it was acknowledged that there was a need to find a balance between protecting vulnerable members of the public from dangerous criminals and harming people's job prospects through over-regulation.
The existence of the bureau has been linked to planned new legislation to make it an imprisonable offence for employers to hire convicted child abusers for jobs that give them access to children.
Home Office ministers have already admitted that the bureau will not open for at least another three years because of fears of computer problems and the need for the new unit to be "fully operational from day one".
Yesterday Lord Haskins said he was pleased with the Government's response to the task force's criticisms, adding: "Many people are unnecessarily excluded from work because of convictions received many years previously or which are totally irrelevant to the job. This appears to work against other government initiatives, such as the New Deal, which is committed to creating job opportunities for ex-offenders."
The Home Office also accepted the task force's comments that it would be dangerous for employers to regard a criminal records check as a catch- all protection. It warned employers would also have to continue implementing other precautions, such as reference-taking.
"We will publish guidance on the role of criminal record checks, which will make clear their limitations and reinforce the need for good employment and recruitment practices," the spokesman said.
Apple's Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making profit
Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under 'draconian' new sanctions regime
Ukraine crisis: New navy chief 'defects' and surrenders Crimean HQ as Putin claims ultranationalists forced intervention
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
- 1 The future of sex: The first female condoms were derided, mistrusted and shunned - but will their modern counterparts catch on?
- 2 South African rhino finally put down after roaming Kruger park for days with horn hacked off and bullet in brain
- 3 Italian pensioner hires an escort who turns out to be his son's girlfriend
- 4 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 5 Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role to marry Natasha Richardson
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: A small but growing chain of boutique hot...
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: The company works with Tier 1 FTSE 100 Ba...
£45 - 60k Per Annum: Charter Selection: Highly profitable leisure brand, marke...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Residenti...