BackCheck, the largest non-US owned background checking company in the UK, has seen this problem growing.
In the first half of last year 137 businesses in the UK were prosecuted for employing illegal workers, more than double the number that were prosecuted in the previous 10 year.
It is estimated that more than 1% of the entire British workforce is employed illegally and the consequences for employers that are caught can be catastrophic.
If an employee is subsequently found to be on a barred list, such as List 99 or the Protection of Children Act list, the employer can face up to 5 years in jail and a fine of up to £5,000.
Chris Hawkins, Assistant Vice President of Operations warns:
‘The only way to protect yourself, your company, and those that come into contact with your staff is to run a background check on your employees before they start work with you. Screening overseas employees is more complicated than domestic, and you need to use an experienced and reputable company to do this.
“The Government is cracking down on employers and we are seeing more and more being prosecuted for employing illegal workers, a problem that is easily solved by running some straightforward checks before employing staff.’