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With the fines for employing illegal workers in the UK tripling, employment screening and identity expert, Sterling, has urged firms to ensure they have robust vetting and screening in place, no matter what sector they operate in.

Steve Smith, President International at Sterling, commented:

“The risks of employing illegal workers in the UK — even inadvertently — are increasing, as authorities worldwide attempt to clamp down on a lack of rigorous employment practices. For employers, increasing sophistication in presenting fraudulent documentation can make it difficult to spot where they are being misled. However, recent innovation in employment screening makes it easier and quicker than ever to carry out robust checks and identity verifications. Technology has evolved to counteract the growth in fraud, but employers across all remits need to adopt the use of these solutions to avoid significant fines and penalties.

“Historically, we’ve seen highly regulated sectors such as financial services and healthcare lead the way in employment screening adoption. However, the fines that are being increased by the Home Office can apply to any firm, of any size, in any sector.

“With the Home Office strengthening action that can be taken against licensed businesses who employ illegal workers — whether knowingly or not — it’s now more crucial that firms have stringent processes in place. In addition, outsourcing employment screening solutions is now more accessible and viable for businesses of all sizes, in sectors from retail to manufacturing and even those in the gig economy. As the latest news from the Home Office demonstrates, those employers that commit to best practice hiring processes that create safe environments for staff and customers will be in a much better position as the increase in fraud oversight continues.”


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Vickie Collinge

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