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AUGUST 4TH 2016

10 Tips to Prevent Illegal Working


right to work, immigration, passport

Seen the Byron Burger story? Concerned that your own recruitment screening and onboarding might need improvements but not sure where to start?


We get it. Fake passport seizures at UK borders are ‘at five-year high’, plus immigration rules are confusing — it can be so difficult to find the exact information you need, and at times just plain frustrating! You’re a diligent employer but not an immigration expert… so what do we recommend?

1. Take preventative action before candidates arrive at your door: Telling potential candidates that you check passports thoroughly can act as a valuable deterrent for those trying to work using fraudulent or counterfeit documents.

2. Know what is accepted as Right to Work in the UK documentation: It is always your applicants’ responsibility to prove they have permission to work in the UK. If they are vague about visas/right to work documents or ‘aren’t sure where it is’, then alarm bells should be ringing. Full information isprovided here, but regularly check back to lists A and B documents — if it’s not a document on these lists, it is unlikely that it will be accepted, but…

3. …ask for advice when you aren’t sure: With so many different types of passports and visas in circulation and rules constantly changing, things get confusing. It’s not always obvious whether a visa provides permission to work and several have strict restrictions attached (such as student visas). The Home Office Sponsorship, Employer and Education helpline is genuinely helpful Tel: 0300 123 4699 [email protected]

4. Use the online tools available — This handy link helps you decide whether the combination of documents provided gives Right to Work, according to lists A and B. Make sure you take copies of all documents (including a record of who made the check and the date it was copied) before your staff start working. Keep copies during their whole employment and for two years after they stop working for you.

5. Check and check again: Compare documents and their security features to an online library — we like Edison TD and Prado. Trust your instincts — if something doesn’t seem or feel right, it might not be. Double-check the document and consult with a colleague or with the Home Office.

6. Turn your HR and Recruitment teams into detectives: Get your teams interested in hidden passport and visa features (bringing out their inner sleuth!). By understanding the huge range of visual security features including UV, watermarks, latent images, Optically Variable Ink and more, they will take genuine interest and be able to spot counterfeit and fraudulent documents.

7. Use technology for peace of mind: The Home Office now recommends intelligent documents scanners as recruitment best practice. Working in partnership with Trust ID scanning solutions means we can easily authenticate features that we can’t check manually. There is complete central visibility of document scans from every office and control over ‘unusual cases’,meaning the stress has been removed from our Right to Work checks. Failed documents or those causing concern are referred in one click to advanced users for decision, with easy referral onward to Trust ID for expert advice. Our Trust ID passport scanners generate simple pass or fail results, leaving no grey areas, even for new users — we’ve caught 5 counterfeit documents since April 2016, saving us huge potential fines.

8. Have a back-up: Sometimes the internet fails; there’s a power outage; you spill coffee on your laptop…. Buy an inexpensive UV torch for additional security when you need to manually check passports.

9. Know when you need to check documents again: Keep a record of when visas, passports or permissions to work expire, and ensure you re-check documents before this date. We make our software do all the hard work for us by automatically blocking staff from shift bookings once their permission to work expires, but you can also use standard calendar entries and reminders to ensure permission to work is always valid.

10. Work closely and check in regularly with your staff and recruitment partners: If you use a trusted third party to supply staff or candidates, do ask to do an audit on their recruitment practices ensuring they are working to required standards. It is an excellent form of due diligence (and should they not be, the liability for illegal employment may well fall on you). We are audited at least 10 times a year and actively enjoy our clients taking an interest in the work we put into ensuring robust recruitment processes.

Feeling worried? That’s healthy and just means that you are diligent!

We’d love to help if we can in any way — please email [email protected], Head of Talent Management — Casual Recruitment, or call us on 0207 386 4491.

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