|A significant number of employers and recruiters are still failing to assess an individual’s right to work in the UK despite the Government doubling the maximum penalty for those found to be employing illegal workers (from £10,000 to £20,000). That’s according to specialist services provider, giant group|
|Data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act revealed that a total of 1,974 Notification of Liability (NOL) notices for a civil penalty were issued to employers of illegal workers in the UK during the last year. The cost of these penalties equates to £29.6 million. In comparison, between 2013 and 2014 there were 2,148 NOLs issued and between 2012 and 2013 1,270 were served.
Commenting on the findings, Matthew Brown, managing director of giant group, says, “At first glance the figures suggest that the Government’s move to double the maximum penalty from £10,000 to £20,000 has paid off, with the figures for 2013 and 2014 revealing a reduction in the number of NOLs. However the amount has only reduced marginally (by 174) and more importantly if we look at the statistics over a three year period the number has actually increased by 704 since 2012. This is a significant rise given the high fine facing companies caught employing illegal workers.
“While we welcome any attempt by the Government to crackdown on firms employing illegal workers it appears that a lot more needs to be done to ensure this practice is stamped out once and for all. While the changes made to the maximum penalty a company can receive are certainly a step in the right direction they have, as yet, failed to make any significant changes.”