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Comment – Tougher immigration rules could raise staffing standards

26 March 2013

UK Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday announced tougher rules on immigration, including doubling the maximum fine for employing illegal workers. If a company employs an illegal worker, fines could be raised from a current £10,000 to £20,000.

One recruiter welcomed the announcement as they could raise standards in the staffing industry.

Gary Dewhurst, chief executive officer (CEO) at recruitment firm gap personnel, said: “Currently, the UK Border Agency has the power to issue civil penalties of up to £10,000 to employers for every illegal worker. Despite this, not all recruitment firms carry out the relevant checks during the recruitment process.

“It may be difficult to believe, but many agencies don’t even seem to realise they are legally required to carry out certain ID checks on candidates they put forward to their clients. As a responsible staffing business, we take legal issues such as a candidate’s right to work in the UK extremely seriously and have never been fined for failing to carry out a right-to-work check.

“Raising the maximum fine to £20,000 would discourage employers from using ignorant or disreputable agencies, forcing these agencies to adapt or die. The measure therefore has the potential to significantly raise standards in the recruitment industry. For this reason we believe it should be welcomed.”

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