This is a busy time for the Retail sector – pressure for sales and pressure to cope with staff recruitment challenges that the new year can often bring. It’s a time when Right to Work checks can be done in haste, or worse still as an afterthought once someone has been recruited. This can give rise to non-compliance with Right to Work legislation with serious consequences for your organisation. Article from Rightcheck.
January is the time for sales. It’s also the time when other pressures hit Store Managers (dealing with returns, stock-taking, re-merchandising etc.) and when many people instigate job moves creating a time of spike in staff turnover. This ‘spike’ is on top of a sector that is already characterised by high levels of staff turnover, with rates more than 50 percent not uncommon. Consequently, at a busy time for retail when vacancies need to be filled quickly, there may be a temptation by Store Managers to shortcut the recruitment and on-boarding of new staff.
Store Managers typically hold responsibility for interviewing and selecting candidates. Whilst HR may issue the paperwork, it is the Store Manager that will gather all the necessary documentation and conduct the Right to Work check – along with other important validation checks such as proof of address. For this to be compliant a Right to Work check must strictly follow a prescribed process the Home Office dictates. There are civil penalties (maximum of £20,000 for each illegal worker) and criminal offences that can arise from a breach of the legislation. Investigations by the Home Office are resulting in total penalties issued to businesses now running at over £14M per quarter. This is in addition to the reputational damage arising from a breach that for any retail operation that can be disastrous for trade.