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Another 19 million in fines for failing to check candidates right to work in the UK

Another 19 million in fines for failing to check candidates right to work in the UK

Recruiters and employers at risk

Another 19 million in fines has 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, warns giant precision, the web based back office solutions provider to the recruitment industry (www.giantprecision.com).

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, says giant precision.

According to giant precision, if recruiters and employers put in place automated systems to ensure candidates are eligible to work in the UK they will eradicate the risk of falling foul of the UK Border Agency clampdown and the associated fines.

Matthew Brown, Managing Director of giant precision, comments: The Home Office is under growing pressure to tackle illegal working, so it is inevitably stepping up compliance in this area. At the same time, many recruiters and employers are relying on manual, paper-based identity checks, which are costly to administer and prone to error.

He adds: Although right to work checks are a legal requirement, investing in their own systems which automate the process can be prohibitively expensive and a major distraction for recruiters and employers. An alternative is for recruiters and employers to use a third party to provide the automated checks at a very small cost per individual check. This way recruiters and employers eliminate the risk of fines and can rely on an automated, cost-effective service with negligible initial costs.

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