Employers are being urged to improve their processes for verifying new employees' rights to work in the UK, recruiter.co.uk reports.
The request follows news that the UK Border Agency has continued to issue thousands of fines to employers for failing to carry out the right checks - initially and ongoing - which has lead them to employ an individual that does not have the legal right to work in the UK.
Manual or paper-based processes tend to fall short, whether comprising mistakes or omitting triggers that remind managers to keep checking whether visas, passports and work permits are still valid. For each 'illegal' worker, a business can be fined up to £10,000, thus if a business is aiming at prospering in austerity, a more efficient process should be found.
Since 2008, when a tougher system was imposed, the UK Border Agency has collected £65.3 million in fines, part of which is due to ignorance or inadequate vetting procedures. The figures were discovered via Freedom of Information by recruitment technology specialists, Giant Group. It discovered that £12 million of fines had been issued in the last year alone.
While recognising that the implementation of a system could be costly, Giant managing director, Matthew Brown said to HR Magazine that the consequences of not doing so are far worse.
"The damage - not just financial but reputational - of putting forward or employing an illegal candidate can be considerable," Mr Brown said. "With unemployment high and immigration a burning political issue, employers and recruiters need to make doubly sure that candidates are fully vetted."