Should You Background Check Existing Employees?

Share this article
Example H2
Example H3
Example H4

It can be a relief when your candidate background checks have been completed. With this final screening obstacle negotiated, you are now free to hire and onboard your new found talent. 

At this point, many employers think that the background checking process is over. Admittedly, this was once the case, but we are moving into an era where post-employment screening is becoming the norm too. In today’s world, employers need to be doing a range of background checks, not just prior to, but also during the employment life-cycle, to protect the integrity of the business. 

background checks on current employees
Background checks on current employees

In fact, here are several scenarios during the employment life-cycle where background checks are appropriate and in some cases, legally mandated.

1. Tendering for new contracts

Employers can often be surprised to find out during their project tendering process that certain clients, (often government contracts), require them to have specific employee background checks in place, (such as a DBS check), in order to be considered for a contract. 

Such clients typically come from sectors relating to sensitive data, vulnerable people, finance, government, education or security. Employers are advised to check such tendering documents, carefully, well in advance of submission deadlines, (to avoid nasty surprises), and ensure sufficient time to complete any necessary employee background checks.

run a background check on an existing employee
Run a background check on an existing employee

2. Promotions

Another logical time to background check an existing employee is prior to promoting them. This high profile case from Asda Walmart shows the value of re-screening employees prior to a promotion. A few years back, the retail chain’s then VP of Corporate Communications was found to have fabricated his CV. This fabrication was discovered during a routine pre-promotion assessment, having been missed during the original pre-hire screening process. This shows the value of pre-promotion background checks which act as a second, strategic check-point to catch any fraudulent CVs which slipped through the net during pre-employment screening.

post employment background check
Post employment background check

3. Acquisitions

When acquiring a business there are no guarantees that the employees that you TUPE transfer in have been background checked at all, or to the standards that your business requires. Post TUPE transfer background checks will need to be made. For example, according to Home Office Guidance employers are advised to make a fresh right-to-work check within 60 days of the transfer of the business and employees under TUPE.  

You’ll also need to check whether TUPE transferred employees have the appropriate DBS clearance and how old the check is, and whether it is ‘in date’ in relation to your own policy on frequency of checks. You’ll need to assess the criminal background check for authenticity by following the DBS Identity Check process set out on the UK Government website. 

If the post-TUPE employees criminal background check doesn’t conform to requirements, the employee will need to complete a new criminal background check, and this will need to be at the employer’s expense as you can’t charge for this under TUPE.

post employment background verification
Post employment background verification

4. Ongoing Checks

Criminal background checks will need to be carried out on a regular basis at a frequency appropriate to the role being performed. Some employers re-check criminal records every 3 years, but other sectors such as NHS agency bank staff are subject to annual scrutiny. 

The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 makes it very important for employers to ensure that all employees driving on business have a valid driving license. Common pitfalls are that drivers forget to return their license for refresh and reissue once a ban has been served, and drivers move house and forget to update addresses. Rechecking driving licences can be a costly background checking exercise with a high administrative burden, which is why some organizations hand it over to a background check company.

If you are a Solo-regulated financial firm falling within the Senior Manager’s and Certification Regime you would have needed to have completed your initial Fitness and Propriety checks on existing/new hires from December 2019. You’ll then need to complete annual criminal background checks on existing employees falling under the regime.

employee background check
Employee background check

Employment Screening is no longer just a one-time event occurring prior to hiring new staff. Background checking is an ongoing process which should occur at recognized points during the employment life-cycle to preserve the integrity of your business.

Ready to get started with rescreening?

Rescreening is critical to protecting your company and keeping you ahead. Learn how our automated solution can benefit your company here.

Share this article

Popular Packages


No items found.


What background check do I need?

This depends on the industry and type of role you are recruiting for. To determine whether you need reference checks, identity checks, bankruptcy checks, civil background checks, credit checks for employment or any of the other background checks we offer, chat to our team of dedicated account managers.

Why should employers check the background of potential employees?

Many industries have compliance-related employment check requirements. And even if your industry doesn’t, remember that your staff have access to assets and data that must be protected. When you employ a new staff member you need to be certain that they have the best interests of your business at heart. Carrying out comprehensive background checking helps mitigate risk and ensures a safer hiring decision.

How long do background checks take?

Again, this depends on the type of checks you need. Simple identity checks can be carried out in as little as a few hours but a worldwide criminal background check for instance might take several weeks. A simple pre-employment check package takes around a week. Our account managers are specialists and can provide detailed information into which checks you need and how long they will take.

Can you do a background check online?

All Veremark checks are carried out online and digitally. This eliminates the need to collect, store and manage paper documents and information making the process faster, more efficient and ensures complete safety of candidate data and documents.

What are the benefits of a background check?

In a competitive marketplace, making the right hiring decisions is key to the success of your company. Employment background checks enables you to understand more about your candidates before making crucial decisions which can have either beneficial or catastrophic effects on your business.

What does a background check show?

Background checks not only provide useful insights into a candidate’s work history, skills and education, but they can also offer richer detail into someone’s personality and character traits. This gives you a huge advantage when considering who to hire. Background checking also ensures that candidates are legally allowed to carry out certain roles, failed criminal and credit checks could prevent them from working with vulnerable people or in a financial function.

Transform your hiring process

Request a discovery session with one of our background screening experts today.

State of Hiring and Background Checks Discrepancies

Veremark’s 2022 Annual Report is based on the background check data collected from over 100,000 checks from companies and professionals across 6 countries and 5 key industries last year.

This report focuses on the state of hiring and background check discrepancies and is an essential guide to all recruiters and HR professionals conducting hires, background checks and onboarding in 2022.

In this report, we discuss:  

  • What areas and factors can Background Checks discover?  
  • Where did the findings come from by country and sector?
  • Discrepancies by top 5 sectors
    • Fintech and Financial Services      
    • HR, Staffing and Recruiting      
    • Technology and Software      
    • Professional Services      
    • Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)
  • Discrepancies by top 6 countries
    • Estonia      
    • Singapore      
    • United Kingdom      
    • Australia & New Zealand      
    • India      
    • Philippines
Get your own copy!