Many businesses are not doing enough to verify the legality of their employees, placing companies at risk of fines and legal action, according to a new study.
A joint survey by BusinessZone.co.uk and HRZone.co.uk found that 34% of small businesses have no procedures in place to check whether employees are eligible to work in the UK.
Large organisations with dedicated HR departments are also overlooking legal status, with 37% delaying their checks until after a candidate has accepted a job offer.
Under the 2006 Asylum and Nationality Act, companies could face a £10,000 fine for every illegal worker they employ.
Employers and managers should carry out regular document checks to avoid falling foul of the legislation.
Laura Mitchell, of Clarion Solicitors, said: “It is a real concern that such a high proportion of businesses do not have a consistent policy in place to verify the legality of their workers, particularly given the consequences of non-compliance.
“Employers who fail to check the legality of their workers do so at their own risk.”