Latest figures have revealed that the number of employers fined for employing illegal workers has risen by almost a quarter in the past year.
Figures released following a Freedom of Information Act request show that in 2014, 2,262 civil penalties were levied by the Home Office to employers of illegal workers, up from 1,822 in the previous year.
The rising number of penalties has also resulted in the gross value of civil penalties increasing by 75% in the past year to £24.65m between January and December 2014.
This has been caused by the maximum fine doubling from £10,000 to £20,000 for failing to carry out stringent checks to confirm if a person has the right to work in the UK.
Preventing illegal workers
Recruitment agencies play a pivotal role in the employment of migrant workers, providing the quickest route to work in the UK whilst giving agencies access to an extensive talent pool.
In a climate of tougher penalties and accelerating legislation agencies must conduct due diligence and have systems in place to maintain compliance throughout the entire recruitment cycle.
Smart use of time and attendance technology can greatly enhance an agency’s ability to remain compliant with immigration laws by providing full transparency of applicants throughout the entire recruitment cycle, right from the initial on-boarding process.
Time and attendance integration
Recruitment best practice has seen a growing number of agencies use time and attendance to support ID verification checks, such as work Visas, licences and passport information, and request that candidates register with the system before employment commences.
This empowers them to quickly establish whether or not the prospective employee has a ‘Right to Work’ in the UK and adds an extra level of security to contracts by ensuring that the person registered with the agency is the same person that arrives on client sites.
Extending the system to client sites ensures the clocking process is quick and simple for employees, eradicating errors caused by a language barrier and data duplication.
Integration of key processes in the recruitment cycle such as CRM, Applicant Tracking systems, onboarding, payroll and time and attendance allows for a seamless flow of employee information so managers can check their compliance status throughout the duration of contracts.
Compliance documentation, such as Visas, passport scans and birth certificates, can be accessed at the touch of a button so managers can deal with any alleged breach promptly and identify when employee visas are due to expire.