Europe under threat from illegal documents?

When we look at employment figures and company news from the UK we are still doing very well, compared to our European counterparts. Great news.

How easy is it to obtain illegal documents?

illegal documents for cashThe grey lining to our silver cloud is that this makes the UK an attractive place for all especially with the numbers of illegal documents out there. There are many from within Europe and beyond who have their eyes firmly set on working and living in the UK but, they don’t all have the necessary criteria for legal entry. So, what do they do?

The BBC published a video on the 18th May where they went undercover to see how easy it would be to obtain EU documents in Turkey.

It presents a new problem where the refugees who obtained permission to be in Europe legally are selling their documents (great use of recycling!).

Yet again, we find that social media is doing its bit. Without giving too much away, Facebook seems to be one of the sites facilitating the sale of these documents.

The video highlighted the sales of a German issued Schengen Visa but other documents are available at a price. It’s well worth the watch. Click here to view: BBC how easy to get an illegal passport

It really highlights how the criminal world can further exploit individuals using indebtedness.

A typical scenario is;

  • Immigrant arrives in the UK planning to stay
  • Debts are built up by the immigrant from rent, food and illegal documents.
  • The immigrant cannot easily get a bank account so one is given to them by the "landlord".

Now they have documentation, address, a bank account. They can work?

The GLAA (The Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority) looks to stop this type of scenario:

  • Prevent workers from being exploited for their labour;
  • Protect workers and potential victims so making them less vulnerable to being exploited for their labour;
  • Pursue relentlessly, disrupting and prosecuting those who engage in the exploitation of workers.

We all as employers have a role to play in the modern slavery or more politely exploitation of people. By following the Home Office guidance on Right to Work we can help reduce this activity, but....

This presents another challenge for employers – “The Imposter”.

This is where uComply can help - with training

There are a number of steps mandated in the Home Office guidance.

One of them ensures that the person you are seeing with the original documents at the time of the check is actually the person depicted on those documents.

Fortunately, nature has helped us out here. Simply put, most people have a natural ability to recognise faces but, ensuring we all do this consistently needs an established process which everyone follows.

The picture on the left (me on a good day) gives a summary of what you can do.

When we train people, we use this as well as other techniques to hone this skill.

We all understand as employers that employing illegal workers can result in fines of £20,000 per illegal worker and or a prison sentence.

Importantly though, employing an imposter will incur a fine if the worker is deemed illegal. There are no legitimate excuses for not spotting a substitute person.

The reason why we follow the Home Office guidance is to get a statutory excuse. It has never been more important to follow the Right to Work process.

The risk of illegal documents is still there though. With people still willing to sell fake documents, illegal documents can and do find their way on to the market. Check it out, type “buy fake document” into Google, you will find many websites blatantly offering fake documents for sale. Vigilance in this arena still required.

Technology combined with training helps.

ID checking on the move; simplify your Right to WorkDid you know that even a smart phone can be used to establish the authenticity of a passport, ID card, Visa, Biometric Residents Permit and even a driving licence?

Utilising "Near Field Communication" (NFC) capabilities (similar to those used by the card payment technologies) even the chip found on the identity documents can be read.

This gives the user an unparalleled opportunity to prevent the use of fake documents in the enrollment process.

On its own, without using skills from training (i.e. user interaction)technology is not a panacea but, when the user procedure for Right to Work is combined with technology. It is a game changer.

At uComply, to help employers get that vital statutory excuse, we have created a fusion between technology and process.

Our unique product uAuthenticate ensures employers follow the guidance in a consistent manner and records all the results securely. At the same time, it checks document authenticity and supports consent based document capture (i.e. GDPR compliant).

We offer training which incorporates facial recognition, document inspection techniques and how to ensure that you follow the Home Office Right to Work guidance process.

uComply are an innovation finalist for their Right to Work Solution uAuthenticate Mobile

uComply innovation finalist for our Right to Work Solution uAuthenticate MobileOur Right to Work Solution uAuthenticate Mobile is in the spotlight again and received strong praise for its innovative design and ease of use.

It is always good to hear a third party’s view on how well we stack up in the real world.

So how did it all come about?

It all started with one of our clients recommending that we enter for the CSSA hosted award for innovation. This we duly completed and a month later we were notified that our submission had passed.

We were (as 1 of 26 successful submissions from the first round) invited to a dragon’s den panel of cleaning industry professionals to grill us extensively. We demonstrated our Right to Work Solution and answered many questions, including:

  • How our Right to Work Solution is innovative.
  • Overview of the technology we use
  • What the Home Office guidance is and how it is addressed in our solution

As a result of the HOW we were 1 of 6 finalists and invited to a great event at The Brewery in Chiswell Street. Many of the cleaning members were present and got a chance to look first hand at our Right to Work solution uAuthenticate Mobile and, additionally, at uAuthenticate Pro.

Getting invites to events on merit and not a sponsorship fee is unusual in today’s age. Congratulations to the CSSA for taking such a bold step and organising a great day.

Why have I gone through the details above for our Right to Work Solution and Technology?

As a technology led firm, we are always innovating and look to constantly receive feedback. From either our clients or prospects we always try and incorporating ideas to enhancing our solutions. However, one of the biggest challenges we face is the one of education. Although Identity document checking systems have been around for a few years not many people know about them.

In 2012 uAuthenticate Pro (our personal computer version) a true Right to Work Solution, was introduced. For the first time combining document checking whilst fully incorporating the Home Office guidance.

Technology moves on and last year we introduced uAuthenticate Mobile which uses smart phones to check the documents whilst fully incorporating the Home Office guidance. Thereby bringing the benefits of the Right to Work process to your fingertips and being available when and where you want it.

Call us to find out more.

Ensure all who receive treatment are eligble

Doctors and nurses can provide valid treatmentIf someone is suddenly caught ill or has an accident then we should do all we can do to help. If you visit other countries (we’ve all heard the stories where wallets are examined before treatment is applied) typical questions before treatment is given are:

  • Do you have insurance?
  • What’s your health policy number?
  • Have you got an EHIC card?
  • Can you afford to pay – do you have any credit cards?

In my view our national institution the NHS who provide free treatment for all regardless of their circumstances should not be abused.

So what is happening?

The governmentFollow the guidance in the Immigration Act as a part of the Immigration ACT in 2014 introduced guidance around implementing overseas visitor hospital charging, technically a framework for the NHS to charge for treatment in the UK. There is some confusion as to how charges will be applied.

A summary extract from the guidance document begins to detail how charges are meant to be levied. “A relevant NHS body must only make and recover charges when it determines that the patient is not entitled to free NHS hospital care. The obligation to undertake reasonable enquiries is an important part of the duty to make and recover charges from overseas visitors, and:

  • ensures that patients who are not ordinarily resident in the UK are identified
  • assesses liability for charges in accordance with the Charging Regulations
  • charges those liable to pay in accordance with the Charging Regulations
  • recovers payment from those liable to pay”

Immigration Minister Mark Harper said “The Immigration Bill will stop migrants abusing public services to which they are not entitled, reduce the pull factors which draw illegal immigrants to the UK and make it easier to remove people who should not be here”.

These things take time to evolve but recently the press has had a field day drawing attention to health tourists. Yet another administrative burden, or is it a way of protecting the NHS?

I personally am convinced that these controls are vital and managed by support staff not the nurses and doctors. Our health professionals should be focussing on treatment not the checking the patients residency status. What do you think?

Validate proof of ID with technology

Happily our solution uAuthenticate  simplifies the process and at the same time protects your own workforce.

 

Thanks for reading

Stefan

Illegal workers in Construction

Operation magnify, ConstructionRight to Work compliance is important for all businesses in the UK. The UK Government continues its focus on illegal workers, over-stayers and rogue employers.

During the last quarter in 2015 the Home Office ran a themed approach on specific sectors called ‘Operation Magnify’ where they targeted companies employing ‘lower-skilled’ labour (i.e. Construction sites, Care Homes and Cleaning companies) ensuring Right to Work compliance and checking processes were in place for the identification of potential illegal workers.

In one week alone over 150 companies where visited, over 250 arrests made and fines in excess of £600,000 were issued.

Read more

PSC or Umbrella contractors: A route to illegal working?

Umbrella PSC illegal working immigration

Who’s at risk?

With an extensive background in the recruitment industry (over 25 years) I am familiar with the use of Personal Service Companies (PSC) and Umbrellas in the industry. When it comes to checking that the individual supplied to the end user client has the right to work in the UK, who has that responsibility?

In the case of a PSC it could well be argued that it is the responsibility of the limited company concerned. But, let’s not kid ourselves here – is an illegal worker who sets up their own PSC going to check their own right to work documents?

Read more