A Guide to Pre-employment Checks in the UK

Every time you apply for a new job in the UK, you will have to wait for a number of pre-employment checks to come back to the satisfaction of your new employer before you can start work.

You Must Prove that You Can Legally Work in the UK

Do not be offended when you are asked to provide documentation to prove that you can legally work in the UK, as this is a step that everyone must take, regardless of whether they are British citizens or not. You may be required to show your passport, visa or work permit if you are a non-national applying for employment, or other documentation to prove you can legally work in the UK.

Background Checks

It is common for employers to carry out background checks, including a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check if you are applying to work with children, vulnerable adults, the police force or in another position of authority. Applicants must disclose a criminal record, including criminal convictions that led to a prison sentence, when asked to do so.

Required Health Checks

Some jobs require health checks before an offer of employment is made. If you are applying for work as a driver, you will need to have your eyes checked. But any required health checks must be clearly spelled out in your application so you know what to expect. Some disabled applicants are asked to submit to health checks while other applicants are not, but the disability in itself should not be reason to ask you to submit to a health check, as it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of disability in the UK.

Can an Employer Withdraw a Job Offer?

If you have received a job offer following a successful job interview, you should not celebrate too soon, as the job offer can just as easily be withdrawn. For example, if it is later found out that you falsified documents, information or credentials during or after the job interview, the employer has the right to withdraw the job offer, even if you have already formally accepted the job and have started work, according to Directgov.

Pre-employment checks in the UK can be quite lengthy and time consuming, but they are necessary for employers to make sure that they have the right person for the job. Some of the most basic checks will include proving that you can legally work in the UK (which is a requirement for British citizens and non-nationals alike), submitting to background checks and any required health checks necessary for the job. It is important to keep in mind that an employer can withdraw a job offer at any time if it is later discovered that you have falsified information or documents.


Directgov, Pre-employment checks.