A consultation paper on the Protection of Vulnerable Group (Scotland) Act 2007: Section 35 (2) and (3) has been published by the Scottish Government. The consultation concerns retrospective checking of employees to check their suitability to work with protected and vulnerable groups.
Currently an employer has only committed an offence if: an employee is carrying out regulated work while being barred from carrying out from such work; disclosure Scotland has alerted the employer of this and the employer continues to let the employee carry out that regulated work. The Government believes the period for employers to carry out retrospective checks of employees who were in post before the PVG regulations were introduced (2010) should expire in July of this year. Following this, the consultation aims to find out whether stakeholders would prefer for the regulations to remain as they are with regards to its definition of when an offence is committed, or if new prohibitions should be introduced.
The consultation paper suggests amending the regulations to make it an offence for an employer to employ a barred person to do regulated work irrespective of whether Disclosure Scotland has informed the employer of their barred status. This is expected to create a more level playing field. The Scottish Government warns that employers who have thus far failed to check staff employed in such roles would not be able to claim ignorance as an excuse.
The consultation runs until 19 April 2016. The consultation paper can be found here; https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/disclosure-scotland/vulnerable-groups