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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.

Right to Work image comparison challenges

image comparison of moon shots to highlight some of the challenges with Right to Work image

Which one is the original picture

This is from a set of blogs which I am writing for TEAM which I thought may be worth sharing to a wider audience. The first looks at Right to Work image comparison challenges faced.

We are all individual and see the world with very different viewpoints. Ask different people the same question about an image that they have seen and you are quite likely to get different answers (Almost certainly when you get into details).
One of my hobbies is photography and I thought I’d use one of my pictures to illustrate how our perceptions can differ. Let’s take the photos of the moon above and ask, which photo is the one nearest to reality?

Which one would you choose? Do you care?

First of all, if your job or your companies reputation depended on it then perhaps it would matter…….

Secondly, the answer;

They are all the same photo but one has remained unadulterated and the other two have had varying degrees of contrast/focus elements applied. If you’d really like to know which one is as I took it, please send me a message using our contact form.

What planet are you on I hear you saying? (pun intended) How does this relate to Right to Work?

Please read on.……
Every time you engage/employ someone you run a challenge of not correctly identifying the potential employee and accuracy really does matter.

Facial recognition and the importance of the Right to Work image

Two photos - are they the same

Are the two pictures above the same person or could they be relatives?

Make an error here and suddenly you may be on the wrong side of a £20,000 fine. Whenever I speak about Right to Work checks, as per the Home Office guidance, I rightly focus on fake documents in the main. Based upon research in the field by government officials, “imposters” are beginning to make up a significant proportion of the fines issued for illegal working.  Consequently whilst delivering training around the on-boarding process for Right to Work I specifically drill down into identification techniques.

With reference to the pictures above, they are both of me (about 5 years apart). The left-hand image where I’m not smiling is what is held on the passport chip. (At uComply we use technology to access the RFID chip. As a result the users can see this electronic image, effectively you can compare the invisible versus the visible). The second image is from our company’s website.
The more observant among you may have noticed that the eye colour is different between the images. Should this be a failure? Especially relevant in this case my eyes do change colour based upon the ambient lighting conditions. Issues like this present ideal opportunities to engage with potential candidates/employees and get to know them better. Surprisingly eye colour differences would not necessarily concern me provided a few appropriate questions are answered. Ensure your Right to Work image comparison covers this element and stores any decisions made.
I cover this, and more during a training session, including the essentials of facial recognition. The Right to Work image check is a vital part of the process.

Right to Work and how to ensure you are protected

Simply put, there is a defence against not spotting the ‘obvious fake’ as you are not expected to be document experts, hence a mistake could happen. I defy anyone (who is not visually impaired in some way) to try and defend against an ‘imposter’. (i.e. where the individual employed does not look like the identity documents they provided.) This is a key requirement in the Right to Work process, consequently you open yourselves to a fine of £20,000.

This blog is the first of a series where I look at the whole Right to Work process. As a result by the end of the series you will reduce the risk of receiving a fine. If you’d like to know more sooner, then get in touch.

Finally being that time of year, I’d like to wish you all a prosperous New Year.

Stefan

Stefan.Sosnowski@ucomply.co.uk

01707 800 840

uComply is pleased to be a part of TEAM

uComply is delighted to be a part of TEAM as a service provideruComply is pleased to be a part of TEAM.

 

Kim-Marie our MD (with 25 plus years in recruitment) has for a long time been an advocate of helping businesses of all sizes. She believes that the ability to provide compliance to all who supply staff on an even footing to clients is important. Kim-Marie has been struck by the ethos and aims that TEAM provides for its membership. It is important that small to medium sized recruiters have a voice in todays market place as they’re a vital lifeblood for the economy.

Kim-Marie believes uComply’s offering uAuthenticate can bring real value to all members. It provides full Home Office guidance compliance for the Right to Work process. She said “the days of compliance only being affordable for the large companies needs to be addressed. I believe that uAuthenticate is an affordable option whilst at the same time being effective for small companies”. Followed by, “Being a part of TEAM as a service provider is important to us as a company”

The availability of good quality forged documents is on the increase. Consequently the risk of employing a person presenting fakes is also on the increase. Various articles and studies have suggested indicative costs for fake documents. They include 50 for a French ID card, £600 for a Biometric card to £3,000 for a good UK passport.  Whilst the good quality fakes may not attract a penalty they may still involve adverse publicity following an inspection by the UKVI.

Did you know that technology can help streamline your Right to Work Process?

Right to Work in the UK simplified by using technologyWe’ve removed the manual nature of the traditional Right to Work in the UK compliance checking process.

We’ve taken the Home Office guidance and combined this with passport scanners just like the ones used at airports and border control points.

This presents you with an effective use of technology which when followed will give you a statutory excuse.

Wouldn’t you like to know that your Right to Work compliance is as controlled as it can be?

uComply are attending to launch an exciting new product at the upcoming TEAM conference in March this year and we look forward to meeting and greeting you.

Don’t forget that as TEAM members you qualify for a discount, all you need to do is ask.