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25th Jul 2024
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Government, not business, should police immigration

by The Editor at 11:08 13/08/07 (News)
A small business group has told the Government that it should ensure that workers are legal rather than expect small firms to carry out the necessary checks.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has called on the Government to recognise the difficulty that small firms have when working within existing laws relating to illegal workers. This call comes as the Government’s consultation period into the prevention of illegal working comes to a close.

The FSB says that small businesses do not have Human Resources departments, as the personnel function is often carried out by the owner who often does not have the relevant expertise or sufficient time to devote to the task.

Furthermore, small businesses already spend an average of 28 hours per month filling in forms for the Government. Businesses also run the risk of being accused of discrimination if they are too rigorous with their nationality checks.

The FSB is therefore calling on the Government to ensure workers are legal through their own mechanisms, such as when issuing National Insurance numbers. This proposed solution ensures that the Government polices immigration and businesses get on with generating a profit and providing much-needed jobs.

Alan Tyrrell, FSB Employment Chairman, said: “The Government is right to want to prevent illegal workers and to punish businesses that knowingly employ them. These unscrupulous businesses undercut honest firms by doing so. However, border security and immigration is a role that should be carried out by the authorities, not delegated to businesses.

“It is not right that businesses are asked to become pseudo-immigration officials by the Government. Small business owners have enough to do just to keep their business afloat without performing an essential function of Government as well.

“Our proposal ensures that small businesses can get on with employing over 12 million people and generating half of UK GDP. Taxes on this activity pay for the Government to police our borders and they should take this activity seriously, rather than seek to dump the responsibility on employers.”

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Susie Hughes
The Editor © Hardhatter 2007

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