UKBA discourage checks on foreign workers

Posted: November 18, 2011 in British jobs for British workers, Broken Britain

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A Sky News investigation has discovered the UK Border Agency is sometimes discouraging employers from checking whether staff can work in the UK.

Posing as employers, Sky called the UKBA a dozen times saying they were concerned about a worker’s visa which had expired. They were advised not to use the Agency’s Employer Checking Service as it could leave them open to prosecution.

The service is supposed to be used when a migrant applies for a new work visa and is waiting for it to be approved. It’s also a check for employers if the migrant worker says they have applied for a new visa when they haven’t.

Businesses are allowed to carry on employing workers while new applications are considered as the process can take months. This check protects the employer from prosecution for a year if the worker is later discovered to be working illegally. A negative response from the Employer Checking Service revokes that one year protection. In theory this is when the employer should ‘get rid’ of the now illegal worker or ‘dob’ them in.

Under the law, a negative response over-rides the check an employer is required to do when they first recruit the worker.

If the employer is dissuaded from using the checking service, neither they nor the Border Agency are likely to discover the worker is now working illegally.

Sky say “because the system could penalise employers who get a negative response, the Border Agency advised us against using it more than once a year”.

To sum up, what you don’t know can’t hurt you it just means illegal workers get away with it and businesses have a ready made excuse “UKBA advised us not to check up on a potential illegal worker”.

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