The UK Government is turning up the heat on employers to ensure they have good immigration compliance regimes in place. On top of last year's doubling of fines, the Immigration Bill expected this coming Autumn is expected to introduce further criminal sanctions for employers who hire illegal workers.
Growth in the pre-employment screening market is evidence that UK employers are increasingly aware of the risks associated with failing to check the background of applicants but it is important that these checks are extended to, indeed start with, a "Right to Work" status check. But getting these checks right, and integrating them into existing business processes, is neither quick nor easy without expert help.
Immigration specialists Davidson Morris are a good source of insight in this area:
The Right to Work legislation and requirements have changed over the years with penalties and crackdowns becoming tougher at the same speed as the immigration debate and rhetoric has become hotter and more political. Following last week’s announcement by the Government that a tougher immigration compliance regime for employers is yet to come, below we take you through the right to work legislation and obligations for employers as they stand at present, and what is proposed to change in the near future. At present, you can be fined up to £20,000 per employee for employing illegal workers, or if your organisation fails to show that you have appropriate HR systems in place to check and record your employees’ immigration status as it relates to their right to work and live in the UK.