Abolish Workers being charged for their DBS check

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2023 National Community Conference and Seminar
10 November 2022
Carried as Amended

This conference believes that we need to stop the regressive practice of some organisations in the Community and Voluntary sector charging their new employees to get their Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) done.

In the midst of a cost of living crisis which is impacting the working of people the hardest, this conference motion contends that it is wrong for employers to charge their workers for something that is part of their role.

As the average hourly rate of a support worker is £10.50 and an enhanced DBS costs £38 this means that a new employee loses just under 4 hours of work they have done paying for their DBS (this does not include any admin cost that an employer can add on top of this).

This practice penalises low-paid workers that provide essential work in our society by caring for the most vulnerable and have done this throughout the pandemic putting their lives at risk.

Various charities both large and small charge their employees for their DBS check.

This conference therefore calls upon the Community Service Group Executive to;

1. Support the ‘Abolish DBS charges for workers’ campaign started by UNISON CVOB (Community & Voluntary Organisations Branch) which UNISON’s Labour link are also campaigning on.

2. Lobby politicians at the national, devolved and local level about this campaign and ask them to take action on this issue.

3. Provide practical support to the campaign by helping to create campaign material and promote the petition to members and start a campaigns committee to help with planning the next stages.

4. Survey branches to find out which employers are charging for their DBS and to highlight this on social media and other channels.

5. Share the campaign’s petition with all branches with community members and encourage them to share it with their members and for them to sign and promote it among members of UNISON.

6. Encourage branches with community members and regional community groups to get involved in the campaign by writing to their local elected representatives on this issue.