November 10, 2016
New research from identity data intelligence firm GBG claims there are a startling number of HR professionals (41 percent) who are struggling to keep up with new and changing workplace legislation. Recent changes to UK law, such as those made to the Right To Work in the Immigration Act and Modern Day Slavery Act are met with anxiety by 34 percent of respondents. Only 26 percent feel prepared and just 4 percent feel optimistic that the changes will be advantageous for their organisation. Despite half of HR professionals not feeling prepared to handle legislation changes, 62 percent believe it’s their primary responsibility. Almost one in five (18 percent) said it was their manager’s obligation and 9 percent believed the Board should be in charge of monitoring for change.
“Legislation changes are evidently making HR professionals feel unprepared. We still don’t know what the full impact of Brexit will be, which will add further complexity to the situation,” said Mark Sugden, sales & business development director, at GBG. “HR professionals may have to report on the nationalities of every member of the workforce, and manage multiple country legislation requirements to ensure compliance. The Home Office is now targeting larger organisations with adherence audits and issuing civil penalties for employing someone without the right to work in the UK. The consequences post-Brexit should only reinforce what businesses should already be doing and highlight why the need to know your people is critical more so now, than ever before.”
Many respondents to the survey (41 percent) cited employment screening as their number one priority when it comes to workplace legislation. However, when asked how often they ran employee checks, less than one in five (17 percent) ran multiple checks throughout the year. A fifth of respondents said they didn’t undertake any checking throughout the year, with 11 percent only running checks when an incident triggered the process.
Sugden added: “The changing landscape around employment screening, legislation and requirements to monitor employees more stringently is becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with. However, the consequences of not doing so opens a business up to employee fraud, reputational risk, reduced turnover and fines. Businesses need to recognise the importance of not just completing the Right To Work checks from a recruitment and on-boarding perspective, but also throughout their employment.”
“Last year saw employee fraud account for 32 percent of all reported cases of fraud in the UK, costing businesses more than £46m. The ongoing checking of staff to determine their honesty, integrity and financial soundness is not only critical to an organisation’s adherence to regulation, but also imperative to the security of a business’ IP and bottom line.”