LEGAL UPDATE Registration under the Vetting and Barring Scheme halted by the new Government

Following much criticism and in recognition that the Vetting and Barring Scheme (VBS) was disproportionate, burdensome and infringed on civil liberties, the government has recently announced a halt to the requirement for individuals working with children or vulnerable adults to register with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA), pending a review of the scheme.  Home Secretary Theresa May has said that there is a need to scale back the VBS to “common sense and proportionate” levels. 

The VBS had the aim of protecting children or vulnerable adults by stopping those who pose a known risk from working with them.  Voluntary registration with the VBS was due to start from 26 July 2010 for all new recruits or those switching roles who are working or volunteering with children and vulnerable adults in regulated activity.  Compulsory registration was due to start from November 2010.

Although the requirement on individuals to register with the VBS is now halted while the government carries out its review, the new safeguarding regulations which came into force in October last year continue to apply.  These include the following:

  • ·        The previous statutory lists were replaced by two barred lists – the ISA Children’s barred list and the ISA Vulnerable Adults’ barred list.  The ISA will continue to maintain these lists which can be checked as part of an Enhanced Criminal Records Bureau check.

 

  • ·        It will still be a criminal offence for a person who is barred from working with children or vulnerable adults to work or volunteer, or try to work or volunteer, with those groups.  It will still also be a criminal offence to knowingly employ someone who is barred from working with those groups.

 

  • ·        Employers and other interested parties also have a duty to refer information to the ISA when they believe that someone working with children or vulnerable adults in regulated activity has harmed or poses a risk of harm to either of these vulnerable groups. 
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About Belinda Lester
I am the managing director and founder of Lionshead Law a specialist employment law and HR consultancy company.

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