The news we heard about the nail salons that have been targeted as part of the government’s Operation Magnify reminded us of all of our responsibilities as employers. If you didn’t read the story you can read more here…….
Operation Magnify launched by the government last year was established to target those industries that may be employing or exploiting immigrant workers: catering, construction and social care have also been targeted.
The government explains……….
‘Illegal working undermines legitimate employers, harms the reputation of the industry, drives down wages and denies employment to hard-working UK citizens and people who are working in the UK legally.’
Over 280 salons had been visited by immigration officers investigating illegal working. The immediate results were that nearly 100 illegal workers were arrested nationwide. Worryingly, over a dozen of those arrested have been passed to a service for those who have been identified as possible victims of slavery.
The industry had perhaps suspected the very same for some time but this has compounded any suspicions and reminded us not only of the legal responsibilities we all have as employers but also of the moral and ethical duties we owe our clients.
How many of you have heard clients talk about visiting salons where they felt uncomfortable? The very essence of the industry is to provide a service to clients that enhances their life and essentially makes them want to return. The health and safety needs of the clients and employees always needs to be uppermost in all our minds in every type of business.
Whilst some may well feel that the industry needed to be tidied, the net result may be that some independent business feel the pinch. The wage potential of properly qualified technicians may well improve but the net result is always likely to be an increase in cost to the customer.
Those found to be employing an illegal worker are liable to a £20,000 fine per worker if they fail to prove they carried out ‘right to work checks’. It is not worth a risk to any business to skip these legalities, it also is not providing the appropriate levels of service that all our clients expect and deserve. If you are unsure what those checks are then all the information can be found here
If you are concerned about any of these employment issues then there is plenty more guidance and support available should you wish to use them.
ACAS also has a multitude of help guides for employers to help with all stages of employment and to help provide a better working environment for all staff and to protect employers from making errors