Delay in check leads to claim for £2,000

A Coventry social worker is seeking nearly £2,000
compensation from the Criminal Records Bureau for loss of earnings
after she was forced to wait 14 weeks for her enhanced disclosure
to be processed.

Philomena Brown is unable to start her new job with Barnardo’s
Breakaway Project until the check is returned. Barnardo’s sent the
application and paperwork to the CRB on 25 April before Brown left
her job as a social worker at Coventry Council. Despite numerous
calls to the CRB, Brown has received no explanation for the delay
and promises for its return have not been kept. Unable to take up
her new job, she has, so far, lost four weeks’ pay.

To comply with National Care Standards Commission regulations,
all staff working with children and vulnerable people need police
checks to be carried out by the CRB, which should take no longer
than three weeks.

The NCSC has stated that while checks are pending staff can
continue to work supervised, but this is impractical for many jobs
and organisations.

Public sector union Unison has backed Brown’s demands for
compensation for the four weeks in lost wages, worth around
£450 per week.

The Home Office said any compensation claim based on proven
errors on the CRB’s behalf would be taken “very seriously” and
dealt with on a case by case basis.

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