The recent case of Baroness Scotland who was fined £5000 by the UK Border Agency highlights the risks that employers run even if there is no intent to break the law.
Naveed Ahmed, Managing Director of Goldteam Recruitment which specialises in the FMCG and hospitality sectors says that this is where a reputable recruitment consultancy can really make a difference, as part of a recruitment agency’s responsibility should be to mitigate risk for the hiring organisation.
“At Goldteam, we insist on having sight of all passports and visas and these are checked thoroughly in line with Border Agency guidelines. We also take into account the type of visa a candidate holds, and the limitations which may be imposed by such a visa. Additionally, we check with the Home Office ‘Employer Checking Service’ who will then confirm the validity of the candidate’s details. Until we have all this information 100% verified we will not supply that worker to any client. Our compliance officer has been trained in spotting fake ID and we also have a good ongoing relationship with the immigration office which means we can check queries quickly by phone. We also monitor the life of a visa and it flags up those that are expiring or due to expire – interestingly in Baroness Scotland’s case, the candidate’s student visa had expired five years previously.”
Mr. Ahmed added: “I feel very strongly that the recruitment industry should be taking the lead here and that those agencies who cut corners, and in so doing put their clients at risk, should be held to account – just as Baroness Scotland has been.”