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I reside in UK and I am full time employee. I came across a job that bases new employees salary on the old one. I also have been told that I will have my credit checked if I were made an offer. The question is - can a new employer know of my financial dealings without me giving them out voluntarily?

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    Define voluntarily. If they say "If you want a job here, you will consent to giving us this information", is that voluntary? – Joe Jan 31 '17 at 16:29
  • Who knows exactly how much I earn? HMRC, dependent on you supplying all information truthfully.. can a new employer know of my financial dealings Almost every employer does a credit check on you, so if you want a job be ready to reveal all information, the credit check companies will do that for you. – DumbCoder Feb 1 '17 at 10:27
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    @DumbCoder With some exceptions (mostly finance or roles that require vetting), it is very unusual to be credit checked when starting a job in the UK. – webdevduck Feb 15 '17 at 11:44
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You do not have to give them your previous salary information, nor do you have to consent to a credit check. However, they may choose not to offer you a position if you refuse to co-operate with them. There is no point in lying as they will find out from your P45 or HMRC (as Macro Man explains). That being said, you might get away with it if you time your job move for early April (new tax year) and don't supply your P45 to your new employer.

Credit checks will only provide limited information to your new employer. They won't have access to your bank account transactions for example. Typically I understand they will only have access to limited information (verifying address and if you have any CCJ's, which are public record anyway). However, that will depend on the role - if you need in-depth vetting for government work for example, you can assume they will go much further.

The Experian website, which is one of the three big UK agencies, gives details of the sort of information they will release.

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  • As others explain to Macro Man, you can decline to have your P45 sent to your new employer. – DJClayworth Feb 19 '17 at 0:42
  • Also there are some items of private information you do not need to disclose, and it would be illegal for an employer to refuse you a job if you didn't disclose them. I don't know if salary would be one. – DJClayworth Feb 19 '17 at 0:45
  • @DJClayworth No, it isn't illegal. Employers can ask pretty much anything they want, with some exceptions where they relate to protected characteristics (age, sex, race, disability), spent convictions and trade union membership. You don't have to answer, but they don't have to offer you the job. – webdevduck Feb 20 '17 at 9:43
  • Are you sure? Medical history? Voting record? Political contributions? – DJClayworth Feb 20 '17 at 13:37
  • They can and some do ask for access to medical history (although they have be careful vis disability protections). Yes, they can ask who you voted for (although this is not public record so you can lie) or about your political affiliations. That being said, if they ask for and store significant amounts of irrelevant information, they could fall foul of data protection law. I suspect this is now bordering on discussion and is no longer directly related to the poster's question. – webdevduck Feb 20 '17 at 14:09
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Yes, and.... No.

When you start a new job, you will need to submit your P45 from your previous employer (even if you don't, they eventually get this information from the revenue electronically) - this has your taxable YTD earnings which doesn't tell them exactly what you earned but gives them a rough idea. (If you say you earn £50,000 and your Taxable Pay YTD is £15,000 in March then chances are something isn't quite right...)

UK Employers have a statutory obligation to report all earnings via RTI (Real Time Information) to HMRC, but again this doesn't actually state your salary - just taxable earnings and earnings that qualify towards things like pensions and benefits.


Bottom line - an employer cannot gain access to any PII (Personally Identifiable Information) from anywhere without your explicit consent to either them, or the supplier of the information. If they do - then they are potentially in breach of the Data Protection Act and leave themselves wide open to legal action.

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  • You can send the P45 to HMRC and tell them in writing you do not want your new employer to know the information. You will be put on an emergency tax code until the next tax year. – Brendon Feb 6 '17 at 20:23
  • @Brendon Not sure where you got that from but it's simply not true. You can refuse to pass your P45 to your new employer and submit a new starter form (aka a P46) which will temporarily place you on an emergency tax code but by your second payday your employer will receive the data electronically via RTI anyway which will in turn place you on the correct tax code. Your employer legally has to know the information in order to operate PAYE and meet statutory compliance. – SierraOscar Feb 6 '17 at 20:25

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