Vetting & Barring Scheme to be Scaled Back Significantly

Nick Clegg said when making the announcement that “The freedoms bill will protect millions of people from state intrusion into their private lives and mark a return to common-sense government. It delivers on our commitment to restore hard-won British liberties with sweeping reforms that will end the unnecessary scrutiny of law-abiding individuals.”

The Vetting and Barring Scheme was suspended by the Home Secretary Theresa May last year while the review into the system was conducted. The scheme had been introduced under the prior Labour Government and in response to the horrendous Soham schoolgirl murders.

The announcement will come as a big win for the recruitment industry especially to agencies working in the healthcare and education sectors. Many have found ever increasing red tape a significant hurdle to providing clients with great candidates in a timely fashion.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederations Director of Policy and Professional Services, Tom Hadley, said that “The REC has consistently lobbied the Government on the need for increased portability and for more streamlined procedures; we are delighted that the Government has decided to follow these recommendations.  Safe recruitment must remain a priority and professional recruiters will continue to play a pivotal role by ensuring that the right checks take place. However, we also need a system that is workable and efficient. Today’s announcement is a great result for the recruitment industry.”

The Chair of REC Education, John Dunn, went on to say that “Increased portability is a major step forward for agencies providing supply teachers and a significant lobbying win. This will strip away unnecessary bureaucracy, ending the convoluted process where candidates who work across a number of agencies were required to have multiple CRB checks.  We are also pleased to see that the review has accepted our advice to merge the provisions of the CRB with the Independent Safeguarding Authority.  This will make Vetting more robust, combining the responsibility of the disclosure of criminal records with the barring of candidates, to create a stronger system.”

Government Red Tape

The Government has been keen to reduce the amount of red tape that surrounds many activities, especially those affecting UK businesses. Last year Nick Clegg promised to free businesses from the red tape which costs millions of pounds per year. The announcement was welcomed by the Contracting community in particular who face mountains of red tape associated with running a running of a Contractor Limited Company.

The Coalition Government issued an online invitation to the public to nominate the unnecessary laws and regulations they would like to see scrapped and high on Contractors lists were the Intermediaries Legislation, otherwise known as IR35.

In a statement Nick Clegg said \”Too many of the business and voluntary groups I meet tell me they feel overwhelmed with forms to fill out and boxes to tick, whether it\’s a fledgling business looking to take on more staff, or a charity struggling with the complex record checks their volunteers have to undergo. But the key to all of this is you. You – the small business owner, the social entrepreneur, the volunteer. You know better than government departments, better even than Vince Cable, what rules and regulations are holding you back. The whole point of this exercise is to get Whitehall out of the driving seat. We want to know where regulation works, where it doesn\’t, and what we can do to help.\”

Although last year’s announcement was seen as a positive move for the business community the real reason for the drive to streamline processes and scrap legislation is no doubt due to the fact that many Government departments, with the exception of the Department of Health, face major budget cuts. According to recent announcements budget cuts may be as much as 40% in certain departments therefore leaders will be looking at ways to scrap legislation and reduce administration in order to meet strict new targets. Unnecessary form filling takes up a good deal of time for entrepreneurs, small business owners and contractors in particular however on the flip side the Government also spends a great deal of time and effort collating information, getting it into the right format and generally utilising the information. Details of expected cuts are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

There has been some talk recently of the Government creating a new form of business structure especially for individual contractors which would streamline operations. Any move to create a new dedicated contracting structure may go hand in hand with future changes, or a radical new system to overhaul the employment vs self employment legislation in the United Kingdom.

Commonwealth Contractors

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