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News

Document authenticity checks needed for preventing illegal workers

TSSI Systems : 03 November, 2009  (Technical Article)
Ministry of Justice embarrassment in the UK could have been prevented with simple authenticity controls on immigrant worker documentation
"The news in the Sunday Times that the Ministry of Justice has been caught hiring illegal workers shows that UK employers and recruitment agencies need to start taking illegal employment more seriously", warns personal identity and document security expert, John Barker, managing director, TSSI. "It is worrying that this is still happening even after the Baroness Scotland incident recently. As a government department this is a poor example to set other UK businesses."

The employee in question was hired through a recruitment agency, which failed to carry out the required background checks. "It is imperative that these pre employment checks are carried out or agencies risk damaging their reputation or having to pay hefty fines", continued Barker. "Agencies must check that recruits are eligible to work in the UK and employers must ensure that these details are kept up to date so they don't fall foul of the law. There are tools available that allow employers to check the authenticity of ID documents such as passports, driving licenses and Visa documents ensuring their employees can work in the UK."

"Civil penalties are no idle threat, the UKBA is cracking down on illegal employment and companies could be looking at fines of up to £10,000 per illegal worker. This will make a huge dent in profits and is not something that businesses, in particular recruitment agencies which are experiencing huge cut backs, can risk in the current economic climate."
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