‘DBS’ Background Checks Likely to Cover All School, Childcare Staff

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Prime Minister’s Office in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo

A policy requiring background checks for employment in education and childcare is likely to apply to all staff employed by schools, daycare centers and kindergartens, it has been learned.

The government is expected to submit a related bill in autumn that includes the establishment of a planned Japanese version of the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), according to government officials.

The Japanese version is modeled after the British DBS system.

The Japanese version will require applicants for employment in the education and childcare sectors to certify that they have no history of sexual offenses, and employers will also be obliged to verify this through a system that registers sexual offense histories, according to the sources.

The Japanese system is expected to cover staff at schools, daycare centers, kindergartens and children’s homes, who spend a lot of time in contact with children.

As to the types of sex crimes, the government is mainly considering criminal offenses, the sources said.

The government plans to set a maximum period of inability to work for those with a history of sexual offenses.

Private tutoring schools and sports clubs are expected to be exempt from the obligation.

The scope and content of the restrictions on employment and criminal record checks have been a point of contention in the debate over the establishment of the system, given these restrictions also touch on the freedom of occupational choice and the right to privacy guaranteed by the Constitution.

The Children and Families Agency, which has been holding expert meetings of legal experts and others since June, intends to finalize the content of related bills to be submitted to the extraordinary Diet session in autumn based on the opinions of the experts.