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More recruiters facing financial penalties due to failure to carry out employability checks

Data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act revealed a total of 2148 Notification of Liability (NOL) notices for a Civil Penalty were issued to employers of illegal workers in the UK in the last year. The value of these penalties equates to &pound16.6 million. This is a significant increase on figures between 2012 and 2013 in which 1270 NOLs were issued at a cost of &pound10.8 million.

This rise in the number of NOLs is perhaps indicative of amendments to two existing Orders and Codes of Practice set out in the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 early this year. These changes include the increase of the maximum civil penalty from &pound10,000 to &pound20,000, which is perhaps a significant driver of the rise in the value of penalties. The amendments also simplified the civil penalty process, making it easier for any incorrect checks to be identified.

Matthew Brown, Managing Director of giant, commented on these latest statistics, “It’s concerning that the number of NOL’s issued has risen so much in the last year, particularly given the on-going crackdown on illegal working. Compliance and efficient checking of an individual’s employability rights have been hot topics over recent months, with more being done to raise awareness of the legal requirements for employers and recruiters.”

“On top of this, carrying out such assessments has been made easier through the portable checks introduced by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), for example. Now that the penalty fee has been doubled, recruiters and employers face a significant financial impact should they fail to ensure an individual’s right to work in the UK.”


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