I was recently asked why we need copies of passports and other forms of identification from candidates that we register.
The person said it all sounded a bit suspicious and in this day and age of Data Theft was very concerned that it was being asked for.
For some time now in fact ever since 2003 it’s been a requirement for Employment Business to confirm the identity of the worker.
The rules say
Regulation 19 – Confirmation to be obtained about a work-seeker
Provides that an employment agency or employment business must not introduce or supply a work-seeker to a hirer unless it has obtained confirmation:
(a) of the identity of the work-seeker. This will mean seeing any document which provides evidence of the work-seeker’s identity, such as his/her passport, driving licence, birth certificate.
By virtue of regulation 32(6) this will extend to those persons provided through limited company contractors, where the notice under regulation 32(9) to opt out of the scope of the Regulations has not been given;
The full document can be read at http://bis.gov.uk/files/file24248.pdf
Additionally the Preventing Illegal Working rules by the UK Border Agency added a requirement to the process as well.
Whilst there is no legal requirement to carry out the UKBA prescribed checks, where these checks have not been carried out and an illegal worker is found, businesses can be fined up to £20,000 per worker.
Where UKBA believes the business was knowingly employing an illegal worker a criminal prosecution could be brought carrying with it an unlimited fine and a potential jail term.
There are regular news reports of fines being levied to companies and Agencies to ensure that we are all reminded of the importance of confirming our candidates right to work in the UK
Some examples can be found on my Flickr page