I was interested to read the Home Office response to the latest inspection report by David Bolt, the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, which looked at the Home Office’s approach to illegal working, including:
the assessment of the illegal working threat
the operational response, including the performance of Immigration Compliance and Enforcement (ICE) teams
the collection, analysis and use of intelligence
collaboration between Immigration Enforcement (IE) external partners and stakeholders
the identification and safeguarding of potential victims of modern slavery and of other forms of exploitation
the use of Civil Penalties and Closure Notices against non-compliant employers
In their response to the report, the Home Office accepts the six key recommendations made, the majority of which focus on improving the mechanics of illegal working compliance and enforcement. Whilst it’s suggested that some of the recommendations may take some time to implement, there were a few things that stood out to me:
‘A broader range of sectors’
In my view, this should be an early warning to businesses of all sizes across many industries that Immigration Enforcement will be extending the reach of their visits; they should take the time to ensure that they’re well prepared, with a clear process for Right to Work checks and proof of the checks documented and easily auditable.
No change to penalties
Again, this reinforces the need for a business to be able to clearly demonstrate their compliance and ensure they have a statutory excuse.
Intelligence and data sharing
I’m also Chair of the Association of Document Validation Professionals (ADVP), and again, intelligence sharing is key for this industry body: we’re working hard to build ever-closer links with the Home Office and law enforcement bodies to share intelligence and key findings from our experience with identity document validation and fraudulent identity document trends.
Tony Machin, CEO
Our CEO since 2013 has led our business through a program of significant upgrades in technology and services and has huge experience helping businesses introduce the right processes for identity document checks.
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