Fines of £19m overall have been issued to employers and recruiters in the past year for failing to carry out adequate checks to verify candidates’ right to work in the UK. With Polish Workers making up roughly 50% of those eligible to work in the UK from the 8 EEA countries no longer having to register under the Workers Registration Scheme one reliable piece of third party evidence is no longer available.
According to data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, the UK Border Agency has issued 5,531 civil penalties with a total value of £53,097,500 since the new system was introduced in February 2008.
This new system gave the UK Border Agency the power to issue civil penalties of up to £10,000 to employers for every illegal worker.The level of fine varies according to whether suitable eligibility checks — such as verifying right to work by checking passports — have been carried out.
Despite the tougher regime, not all employers and recruiters consistently carry out right to work checks during the recruitment process. The dairy industry has had issues through using illegal workers
“To be honest , this is verging on the ridiculous” said Chris Slay of specialist recruiter Skills Provision. “It is so easy to carry out the correct checks the majority of those that don’t must be doing it deliberately. If that is the case they deserve to be fined”
Author: Peter Arkwright
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