Knock-knock who’s there?
No it’s not one of those old jokes but, how certain are you that your contractors and employees are who they say they are?
There’s been a huge focus on immigration, especially in the last few months. We’ve seen the tragic movement of a nation into Europe and can be forgiven for thinking in business, what has this got to do with me? The common misconception is that it’s probably all hype and being blown out of proportion for political gains. Afraid not!
In April the BBC reported that EU border agency Frontex has seen ‘a 70% year-on-year rise in fraudulent documents held by UK-bound migrants’ and the Home Office said ‘Since 2010, we have denied entry to over 100,000 people, including over 6,500 EU nationals.’ The article sited Ukrainians using real Polish ID cards and Albanians using Italian/Greek documents were the main fakes observed. Frontex also suggested 8,373 document fraudsters were present across the EU in 2015 and Labour’s Keith Vaz called for specialist machines across the EU to check IDs. These figures don’t even reflect the most recent crisis from Syria….
Our company, uComply, specialises in providing technology to check identity documents and in the last six months we’ve seen a rise of European ‘fakes’ from France, the Netherlands and Spain. Despite Prime Minister Cameron’s outburst against Nigeria and Afghanistan, we have observed for the first time in several years’, a significant increase in European fraudulent documents vs. the sub-Saharan African countries. One of our recent clients (a Care Recruiter) has found since installing our solution that 20% of their applicants presented fraudulent documents. Could they themselves had inadvertently been a magnet (pre-technology) for illegal workers or could this be indicative of the care sector?
Since the mid-noughties the UK Government effectively outsourced right to work checking to employers and recruiters through guidance rather than law. Their simple? 37 page document suggests what the process should be, which documents need to be checked and what evidence should be kept to prove the correct steps were followed. Get it wrong and you could face a £20,000 fine and/or up to 5 years imprisonment.
The immigration bill 2015/16 has just received ‘Royal Assent’ and includes a significant addition. Being an illegal worker becomes a criminal offence. What legal ramification this could have on recruiters or employers who have given the worker a job remains to be seen.
So what does it mean to you? Are your Right to Work procedures robust? Could you spot a fake document? How important is your businesses reputation? Can you afford to get it wrong?
Or, would you like the peace of mind to know everything is under control?
uComply has developed the only Right to Work solution in the UK where scanning technology combined with built-in Home Office guidance helps protect your business and ensures that a simple mistake does not turn out to be a costly one. Why not give us a call and find out more?
Stefan Sosnowski – uComply