A woman returning to work after a 21-year employment break was shocked after having to show evidence of what she had been doing since her previous position, despite taking the break to raise a family.

Her experience is now causing CBS, one of the UK’s leading employment screening companies, to change its processes to better serve long-term career-breakers – who are usually women.

Debs Brady, a mother of two teenage girls, was recently offered a part-time position with RDT, a Kent-based insuretech software house, who have a long-term partnership with CBS for vital employment screening.

As Debs did not claim any benefits and her household bills were in her husband’s name, there was a limited paper trail to show what she had been doing since her previous role.

Discussing her tough journey back to work, Debs said:

“It was a difficult process. I feel like I would have been better off returning to work after coming out of jail than raising a family, as there would at least then be a paper trail.

“I wish I could have submitted a photo of my family to prove what I had been doing during my ‘employment gap’.”

Debs’ experience has caused CBS, which has a strong female-led team, to reanalyse its screening processes in order to help female career-breakers taking part in returnships. Once they heard Debs’ feedback, they immediately knew that the process had to change.

Now, RDT’s CBS package allows applicants to self-certify what they did during an extended employment break, and CBS has provided guidance to all staff who handle the screening administration for these returnships.

Rachel Bedgood, MD and Lead Signatory at CBS said:

“Employment screening is, by its very nature, a difficult process to manage for all parties concerned. The employer needs a robust and meticulous process, the applicant needs a simple and quick journey, and we need to make sure we apply thorough due diligence while ensuring a happy balance is created to meet everyone’s objectives. This is a difficult task, however, it is a challenge we have enjoyed embracing. 

“Working closely with RDT and sustaining close communications, allows us to better understand their company’s needs and together we created a solution that benefits us both. CBS has won many awards for its approach to women in business and we are super pleased be have a clear kindred spirit in RDT.”

Fiona Mason, HR Director at RDT, said:

“I was delighted with the response from CBS following Debs’ experience. They are clearly keen to improve the new starter journey and, by reflecting on this situation, I hope we will be able to provide an improved experience for our next ‘returners’ to RDT.”

Both CBS and RDT hope to make the process of returning to work after a long employment break as simple as possible and encourage women of all ages and experience levels to consider a career in the tech industry.