One of the time-consuming problems recruitment agencies face is dealing with prospective temporary workers who don’t have the correct identification documents.
This can apply to anyone, whether they are a member of the contingent workforce from the UK or migrant workers who have come to work here from other countries or a young person who has only recently entered the workforce and has not had the need before to provide such information.
So why are there such strict rules on what identification documents are acceptable, especially regarding working through a temporary labour agency? Ensuring that a person has the right to work in the UK is a legal requirement placed on employers and the HMRC demands that identification is watertight. There are heavy financial penalties for any companies which do not undertake the correct identification checks.
A Guide to Help you put Candidates’ ID Houses in Order
Right to Work Entitlement
Before somebody starts work, their Right To Work entitlement must be ascertained. For British workers a passport is sufficient. For overseas workers from the European Union (EU), EEA (European Economic Area) or Switzerland an EU, EEA or Swiss passport or National Identity Card is acceptable.
If a worker is from outside the EU or Croatia (for which slightly different documentation is required) they must have either a Biometric Residence Permit or current passport endorsed to show they are allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK, or a current Immigration Status Document.
For more help about Right to Work entitlement contact the government’s Sponsorship, Employer and Education helpline at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0300 123 4699.
National Insurance Number
If someone is unsure what their National Insurance number is they can look at their last payslip, P45 or P60. Older people were issued with a blue and red card detailing their NI number but these days teenagers are sent notification of their NI number at the age of 15 years and 6 months.
If an NI number is misplaced a worker can contact their local Social Security Office / Jobcentre Plus offices. You can find the address and phone at jobcentreplus.gov.uk or call the HMRC Registrations Helpline on 08459 157006.
A passport is often used to check a person’s Right to Work entitlement. If a person needs to either apply for or renew a passport they can visit their local post office or apply online at gov.uk/apply-renew-passport. It can take several weeks to arrive especially during the busier months.
If a person needs a copy of their birth or adoption certificate their first port of call would be online at gov.uk/order-copy-birth-death-marriage-certificate.
Not only does not having the right documentation prevent someone from working, it can also cause problems opening a bank account into which they are paid. If that’s the case, a Suits Me current account could be an option to help your workers. It’s an alternative to the traditional bank account and offers users a prepaid VISA debit card. So if you’re a temporary worker and would like to know more about Suits Me, or if you’re an agency and would like to provide your workers with Suits Me membership as an employee benefit, then visit suitsmecard.com or speak to your existing account manager.