Costly duplicate Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks which cause delay and waste money for local firms are set to be streamlined, following assurances from the Minister for Children and Families.
Given the close proximity of the Norfolk and Lincolnshire borders around Wisbech, and the different regimes for Whittlesey residents working in Peterborough, businesses often find they have to undertake several CRB checks on the same staff. For example, a taxi firm providing a service for children with learning difficulties based in Whittlesey might find its drivers having to pay for three similar checks at the same time, in Fenland, Peterborough and Cambridgeshire County Council.
I have been in correspondence with the Minister for Children and Families, Tim Loughton MP, and with the Chief Executives of our local authorities, to challenge the existing bureaucracy which does not add to child protection. The Minister has confirmed that changes will be put before Parliament which will come into effect next year so that employees will only need to be checked once. They will then be able to show the appropriate certification to any number of other authorities, which will be able to verify on-line that the check is up to date.
This is good news for local businesses who will save both costs and time on multiple CRB checks, and also for local councils who will avoid the workload of carrying out duplicate checks. Businesses frequently tell me that the Government needs to cut red tape. This is a good example of how we can do so.