Onfido – Why should you do Background checks?

The recent story of Mark Harper, the UK Immigration minister who had to resign from his post after it emerged that his cleaner did not have permission to work in the UK, serves as a clear reminder of the need for rigorous background checks of employees. While it may seem like yet another dull administrative hoop to jump through, the importance to employers of verifying matters such whether an applicant has the right to work in the UK and is suitably a qualified for a role is obvious. The statistics are shocking: a staggering 21% of that applicants that we process typically provided false information about a degree, provided false employers or fabricated non-existent jobs. It is estimated that there are over 860,000 illegal migrant workers in the UK.

At the moment, the UK Border Agency will fine a company £10,000 for every illegal migrant worker being employed; £57.5 million in fines were handed out to the end of 2012. Despite this huge figure, the new Immigration Bill looks to double the maximum penalty for employing illegal migrant workers from £10,000 per worker to £20,000. Not only are such fines likely to place significant financial pressure on anyone found to be employing illegal cleaners, but the business’ details can also be published by the UK Border Agency as a warning to other businesses not to employ illegal workers, which can be devastating for the reputation of a cleaning company. Stricter still, the employer can be jailed for up to two years and receive an unlimited fine if they were to knowingly employ an illegal worker.

The infographic below shows the importance of Identity checks:


      In addition to right to work checks, there are of course other checks that should be carried out on a candidate. Right to work checks are so crucial because not only do they affect every UK employer, but they are also a legal obligation. Some forms of background check are legally required depending on the industry, whilst others are not legal requirements but are strongly recommended.  

For more information see: onfido.com