I-paye is an Umbrella Service provider based in the North West, offering a range of payroll and employment services to more than 1000 freelance professionals and temporary staff working on UK assignments across many different sectors.
In a busy market, i-paye differentiate their business by offering flexible services, ensuring that they strictly adhere with compliance and delivering outstanding customer support.
The business need
i-paye work in a fast-paced environment, on-boarding and paying hundreds of contractors every week, with self-employed contractors either coming to them directly or being referred through a network of recruitment agencies. As the organisation paying the contractors, i-paye need to ensure that they meet their preemployment compliance responsibilities and make the right checks on identity documents from each contractor as part of Right to Work checks. In most cases, i-paye receive a copy of a contractor’s identity document from a recruitment agency and with the threat of reputational damage and significant fines, the business was keen to find a way to quickly and easily confirm the authenticity of these copies.
“The recruitment agency will usually meet the contractor on-site and see an original identity document but since we’re responsible for the payroll, even if we don’t meet the person, we could still be liable for a fine if we’re found to be paying someone who doesn’t have the right to work in the UK.” explains Michelle Gill, Senior Account Manager at i-paye. “We wanted to find an easy way to protect ourselves and our agency partners from illegal workers and demonstrate that we’re driving the highest levels of compliance”.
In Spring 2017, i-paye introduced TrustID Cloud and the team began uploading photocopies of passports, visas and driving licences to a secure website for verification. The uploads take just a few seconds and they receive a report within minutes to let them know whether the identity document is genuine, with any suspicious or unclear results referred straight to the TrustID helpdesk team for further analysis. I-paye now insist that an identity document for every contractor is put through the Cloud service, regardless of their nationality, and won’t start to pay anyone until they have the confirmation report showing the authenticity of their identity document.
Michelle explains: “We never assume that any identity document is OK – British, European or otherwise – since it’s sometimes really hard to tell and our experience with the TrustID service tells us that even ‘really good’ European passports can turn out to be fake.”
Saving time and stress
Today, i-paye can rely on an automated check which takes the guess-work out of their pre-employment checks. In the past, the staff had to decide on the authenticity of a document using visual inspection alone which was time-consuming and unreliable.
“We were always conscientious about checking IDs – Michelle worked with the Home Office when we had concerns and checked external reference databases and guides for advice. But TrustID has freed up Michelle’s time to concentrate on her main role and removed a level of stress… she doesn’t have to worry now about trying to keep all our staff trained and updated on the many different documents that we see” explains Nicola Hughes, Senior Account Manager at i-paye.
Since introducing TrustID Cloud, i-paye have identified several suspicious and fraudulent documents. One candidate presented three different fraudulent documents including a French passport and ID card and the team were able to confidently stop his registration before he began work.
Stopping contractors before they are employed is ideal for i-paye but with such straightforward and quick document checks, they have also been able to introduce a retrospective auditing process. This verifies contractors already registered with their agency recruitment partners who might have inadvertently been missed in previous checks.
“Now that we have the system, we’ve decided to go back through our records and make sure that everything is 100% checked. If we were to be audited, this would help us show that we’ve taken the right steps to make sure we’re only paying those people we should be paying. Plus, this is a great service for our customers that gives them extra peace of mind” adds Michelle.
A competitive edge
i-paye are proud to advertise and promote their identity checking process which supports their ethos for strong customer service and strict compliance.
“We’re in such a competitive market, the TrustID system really helps us to stand out. We’re not just protecting ourselves but our agencies too,” explains Nicola. “TrustID helps us to grow, confident that we can take on hundreds of contractors in a month without the risk of starting to pay someone who isn’t legal”
TrustID Cloud has helped i-paye to reinforce their on-boarding process for contractors on their payroll which has removed uncertainty and helped them to ensure compliance. The team at i-paye are now confident that they only pay people who have proved their identity and could easily demonstrate their diligence if they were audited.
The TrustID service helps i-paye to save time and protects their reputation as well as that of their partner agencies.
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