These obligations can be particularly stringent when the client is a US-headquartered corporation. But, employee background checks and drug tests, which may be commonplace in the US, can be impossible to replicate in countries where privacy laws are strong.
A case in point is the UK's recent data protection legislation. Since 1st December 2014, employers and service providers requiring individuals to obtain and disclose certain protected data, such as criminal records checks or barring records, are committing a criminal offence.
Only employers in certain sensitive occupations can lawfully obtain enhanced criminal record checks from the Disclosure and Barring Service. Some employers and service providers, such as insurance companies, have developed a practice of insisting that applicants exercise their rights under the Data Protection Act to obtain their own sensitive personal data, then provide a copy of the report to the company. The report might be from the Disclosure and Barring Service (which replaced the Criminal Records Bureau and the Independent Safeguarding Authority), the police or the government.
Privacy rights are now strongly protected in the UK and many relocation businesses will have to change their practices and review the terms of their relocation service contracts.
Unless a company is authorised by law to obtain the information or where obtaining them is in the public interest, it will no longer be possible to circumvent the restrictions on who can access this type of personal sensitive data.
Further information on the rules on legally applying for a Disclosure and Barring Service check can be found here.