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News

NHS Illegal Employment Incident Identifies Flaws in Employment Checking Procedures

TSSI Systems : 26 January, 2010  (Technical Article)
Government Departments are not always thorough in their pre-employment screening procedures demonstrating the need for anti-counterfeiting measures and the use of counterfeit ID detection systems to prevent illegal employment
The news that NHS Lambeth has escaped fines following the unwitting employment of illegal immigrants has sparked outrage amongst private companies which if caught in the same situation could be looking at fines of £10,000 per illegal worker. "The fact that NHS Lambeth do carry out pre employment checks on staff proves that these procedures may need to be updated in order to deal with the high quality counterfeit ID documents now available", says John Barker, managing director, TSSI, the personal identity and document security expert.

"Counterfeit ID documents are of increasingly better quality but there are ways for employers to avoid getting into hot water in the first place. There are tools on the market that allow recruiting staff to authenticate passports, driving licenses and visa documents, ensuring employees are eligible to work in the UK".

"The law clearly states that this is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that the staff they hire are eligible to work in the UK. The UK Border Agency (UKBA) is cracking down on illegal employment and those caught breaking the law could be facing fines of up to £10,000 per illegal worker. If these workers have been knowingly employed it could result in an unlimited fine and/or maximum prison sentence of two years. NHS Lambeth has managed to avoid a fine this time but other organisations may not be so fortunate and a fine of this magnitude could be the ruin of many SMBs".

"This incident should serve as a warning to other UK companies which may also have illegal immigrants in their employment without even realising it."

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