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?
The 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.
Did 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.