One of the legacies of the long covid pandemic and its subsequent restrictions has been the rise in popularity of the staycation. This is good news for the UK economy, as 3.3 million people are employed directly in the tourism industry. Holiday parks make up a healthy portion of this economy, with nearly 3,000 of them spread across the UK. As these parks are especially popular with families, it is to be expected that background criminal record checks will be carried out. For those working in these parks, however, different types of CRB check can apply, depending on a number of factors.
Types of Activity
There are a large number of roles carried out at any typical holiday park. Not only that, some parks advertise themselves as having particular activities and services aimed at families with children, while others are more adult-oriented. In terms of the type of criminal record checks which employees will need, it is those working in children-focused parks who may be concerned as to what level of check they will need. Although this concern is understandable against the current background of historic child abuse convictions and allegations, in fact there is not a one size fits all checking regime at holiday parks.
A large part of the reason for this is that the law protects potential employees as much as it does employers and members of the public. Only jobs which are listed as regulated activities carry the higher levels of background check; any potential employer is not entitled to request standard or enhanced checks for any other role.
For many holiday park workers, a basic CRB check will be all that is required; this will be clearly published as part of the job advertisement. Basic checks are requested by the job applicant, and disclose only unspent convictions. There is no qualifying criteria for a basic check, other than that the person in question is 16 or over. Although many holiday park workers will have regular contact with children, this does not necessarily mean they are actually responsible for those children. In fact, this responsibility lies with the children’s parents or other carers.
It is possible that some of the jobs at a holiday park qualify as a regulated activity. This includes tasks like advising, guiding, instructing and supervising children, as part of the job description. If a park has a nursery, all child care workers, play workers or their apprentices will carry out regulated activities. As such, advertisements for any of these jobs will come with notice that an enhanced criminal record child is required. These checks are requested by employers rather than applicants, and disclose unspent as well as spent convictions, plus cautions, reprimands and final warnings. In addition, police will add any relevant information regarding such convictions.
Regulated activity which requires regular contact with children will also require a check of the children’s barred list. This is a register of people previously convicted of a proscribed offence relating to children; such offenders are required to have their names entered on the barred list, where it remains for their lifetime. Being present on this list automatically bars an individual from working in certain regulated activities. It does not, however, mean that the individual cannot do any job which may have some contact with children.
Ancillary jobs such as cleaners or administration staff working in environments such as nurseries do not have to have enhanced CRB checks if the institution is not registered at Ofsted. It is quite likely that holiday park nurseries will not be so registered, as they are not primarily educational establishments. Similarly, the job of a children’s entertainer does not require an enhanced CRB check. This is because children are not obliged to attend any such occasion or setting; only if these are mandatory will the job itself qualify as a regulated activity, and thus entail an enhanced check.
As can be seen, the holiday park industry is a varied one, involving a large number of different roles. Although many of these will entail contact with children, they are by no means the same type of job. For this reason, it makes sense to look careful at each individual position, what it entails and what type of background check will be involved. It may be that a basic check, available in 24 hours, is all that’s required to take up a position in this exciting work environment.