Why thorough employment checks are necessary

Why thorough employment checks are necessary

January 10, 2017

I was reading about the case of Andrew Smith today. He’s an example why employers in Early Years’ need to ensure that thorough employment checks take place.


Andrew was employed as a chef in a private Day Nursery in London. Despite being a registered sex offender. He was caught by police in 2008 trying to lure a 13 year old girl to meet him. His capture and arrest was shown on an ITV programme “How to catch a paedophile”.

Following this offence, Smith was jailed for 12 months, released early and signed up with a recruitment agency. He got a job in a Day Nursery. His secret was only revealed when a member of nursery staff watched the show and recognised him.

What happened?

No checks had been carried out by the private Day Nursery as they had recruited Smith via a recruitment agency. He was not subject to DBS checks by the agency as they considered a chef to be a hospitality job.They hadn’t thought about where the chef was to go.

This goes to prove that a Early Years’ employer cannot rely on others to undertake checks. It must reassure itself. Before taking on a new member of the team.

So next time you ask an agency for cover staff, don’t accept their word that they have undertaken a DBS Check, see it with your own eyes and ensure you follow safer recruitment.

If you need any assistance with any aspect of HR please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01527 909436 or email on 


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