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Disclosure and Barring Scheme

Volume 563: debated on Tuesday 14 May 2013

The Government are introducing legislation to exempt from income tax any benefit arising where an employer pays or reimburses fees for the disclosure and barring service (DBS) online update service and, in some circumstances, fees for Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) checks.

The update service is a new subscription service being introduced in June 2013. It lets individuals keep their DBS certificates up to date and allows employers or prospective employers to carry out free, online, instant checks to see if any new information has come to light since the certificate was issued.

There is a fee to join the update service. Where employers pay for or reimburse the cost of the fee, there would normally be a taxable benefit in kind for the employee concerned—this legislation will remove that liability.

In addition, the Government are also exempting fees paid or reimbursed by employers for CRB checks when the employee has applied for or holds an active subscription to the update service.

This supports the Government’s commitment to overhaul the criminal records regime to give individuals greater control of their own information, allow DBS certificates to be reused when applying for similar jobs, and reduce the red tape burden on employers.