Last week, immigration enforcement officials and police raided Sir Robert McAlpine’s £1bn Battersea Phase 3 project, detaining a number of individuals on suspicion of breaching immigration rules.
It is the latest site to be targeted on a Home Office sting on illegal working, after a similar raid on BAM’s King’s Cross site last month.
Supply chain crack-down
Further to the raid, McAlpine Chief Executive Paul Hamer said that the firm would be cracking down on its supply chain as part of a zero-tolerance approach to illegal working.
“We have worked very hard to ensure all that we do as a business is in line with our values and of the highest ethical standards.
Incidents [such as today] are a stark reminder that the industry still has much work to do.
We take a zero-tolerance approach to such breaches and will be working with our supply chain to support further improvements.”
Immigration compliance risk in the construction industry
Due to the high numbers of foreign workers in construction, the sector remains a primary target for immigration enforcement – as demonstrated by this latest Home Office action.
Firms who employ construction workers, both construction companies and agencies, face tough penalties if they are found to be in breach of their immigration compliance duties.
Employers must carry out document checks on all employees, confirming that they are legally permitted to work in the UK.
If the Home Office finds a business has failed to conduct these checks correctly they can issue a civil penalty of up to £20,000 per each illegal worker. There is no cap on the fines that can be issued to any single employer.
The burden on agencies
A company hiring staff through a recruitment agency would normally expect their chosen agency to undertake a full Right to Work check before putting a candidate forward.
Validating identity and Right to Work is just another layer of process which takes up time and resource for recruiters. This is compounded by high staff turnover and the sheer volume of staff coming through, yet they can’t afford to get it wrong.
A safe pair of hands
Engaging contractors through Liquid Friday gives you and your clients peace of mind.
Our robust ID and Right to Work process has been tested by Home Office representatives, and is both thorough and scalable.
Naturally we undertake these checks on all our employees (on umbrella PAYE), but we can also provide a Right to Work check service as a stand-alone outsource process.