January 23, 2021

The Government balancing employment with lockdowns to protect the health and economy of the country during the Coronavirus pandemic

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While the initial days of the pandemic were difficult for the UK, the country was one among the few that was massively impacted by the pandemic. The number of deaths in the UK was quite shocking, and the healthcare system that was supposed to be the only line of defence against the happenings was so overwhelmed that there was not much that they could do.

While the unemployment rate in the country stayed stable at 3.9% for the first few months, it started increasing fast. The Government was trying to protect jobs across the UK through various schemes to reduce the number of people who would be unemployed. While the schemes that they were running were of some help, it only delayed the inevitable. Within the workforce, the youngest and oldest were the first to lose their jobs since they lacked the experience to pivot to something else, or could not adapt to the changes taking place throughout the country. The remote working rules, regular calls between teams, and virtual meetings between clients were a lot to adjust to in so little time.

The country went into multiple lockdowns, and the Government had to work toward keeping people safe but also making sure they were not damaging their livelihood. A large number of people were losing their jobs, while many were not keen on joining the workforce since they were waiting for the markets to stabilise before starting again. The Government also implemented various strict rules to reduce the spread of the virus through the pandemic so that people could leave their houses but would not end up getting sick.

Employers were not sure about the process when they were hiring new employees since the Government was not thorough on their rules about the same. They were allowing companies that they were considering essential services to run, which included mechanics and the healthcare industry, but there were restrictions on restaurants and places of entertainment. The issue was them implementing lockdowns and other changes which were hurting businesses who were planning on beginning their hiring process after losing a lot of their staff due to the Coronavirus.

With the uncertainty of the new hires who were coming in and the new rules implemented, employers were not sure about the hiring process. While most companies had to remote work, employers were also having their internal meetings over the phone while their client meetings were over video calls and on other virtual platforms. They had to make sure they were picking people who they could trust over someone who would just come to work and leave at the next lockdown. The most common practice throughout the pandemic was handling a background check to make sure that the people they were working with did not have a criminal record. The fastest and most common background check was the DBS check, handled remotely, and employers could make sure they were picking the right person for the job.

Although they launched the DBS check several years before the pandemic, employers rarely and selectively used it. During the Coronavirus pandemic, there were massive changes made to it, and it was a lot more common. Some of the changes included a free application check through the new fast-track barred list where they ran a person’s name through the list, and if they had any information that would be relevant to the job that they were applying for, it was sent to the employer. Not all DBS checks went through the fast track system, with the main reason for it was to assist people in the healthcare industry get through the test sooner. Working in the healthcare industry required an enhanced DBS check, which meant that the jobs had to be run against a list, making sure the people who were applying for them did not have any convictions or were not listed for inappropriate behaviour against the older or the youngest sections of society.

After completing the DBS check, applicants receive a ​DBS certificate​that they have to provide to their employers. Additionally, the certificate had information about them, and the specifics of the details depended on the test that they conducted. The certificate is valid as on the day it was applied for and people can use it for as long as they want. However, some employers would need a more recent check, and they would have to get through it again. People can even get through the ​DBS Update Service​ where they can keep their details ready if they ever need them. Additionally, the Update service is an annual subscription that allows people to have their DBS information on hand for whenever they need them.

When it came to healthcare professionals, the rest of the tests and checks were handled at a later date so they could begin working and could handle those eventually. The DBS did mention that even during the pandemic, having fewer people working with them, and changing their work timings, they were not delaying on any of the tests, but they were working on some, faster than others which was a significant benefit.

Additionally, they created a system that allowed people to send their information online, which was a lot more convenient. However, these changes were only handled in the case of an urgent requirement and not for everyone.

In the past, there was just a basic DBS check, and an enhanced DBS check and people could apply for either one of the others. However, with the multiple tests present now, the employer or any person in need of a DBS test has to make sure that they are specific about their requirements so the applicant can apply for the right one. When they are getting through with one of the four DBS checks, they have to make sure that they are coordinating the correct check, depending on the position that they are applying for. Various job descriptions have different requirements about the test, and some of them did not even depend on the employer but were mandated by the


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