County Commissioner Handbook

Pre-employment checks

Any offer of employment that is made should be expressly subject to satisfactory checks of the following.

Immigration status

Employers are required by law to check that employees have the requisite immigration status to work in the UK. This requirement must be applied to all employees, not only those who appear to be of nonUK/EU nationality. Guidance about the acceptable documentation that can be provided by a prospective employee as evidence of eligibility to work in the UK can be found on the Home Office website.

Disclosure and Barring status

Employees who will be working with children will in most cases need to be checked under the Disclosure and Barring Scheme (‘DBS’) to ensure that they do not have criminal convictions, cautions or other relevant past history that makes them unsuitable for such a role. Details about the level of check that can be carried out for a particular role, and how to access the DBS, are available on the DBS website.


References should be taken up for new employees before they commence employment. It is highly recommended that these are work references wherever possible, including from the most recent employer, unless there is a good reason why this is not available. It is strongly advisable to check references closely and compare them to information provided on the candidate’s application form. If you are not entirely satisfied with the reference, you should ask follow-up questions, either in writing or verbally of the referee. Ultimately, it is a matter for you as the employer whether you find the reference to be satisfactory or not, although you must act reasonably and not take into account any discriminatory content.