Close up on a UK visa

Employers warned of surge in false ID documents

Employers have been warned to look out for a rise in false identity documents as the deadline for the EU Settlement Scheme has passed.

The EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) gives citizens from the EU, EEA or Switzerland the legal right to continue living and working in the UK after 30 June 2021, but the deadline for applications has now passed. 

Staff who are still waiting to hear back about the results of their application will be issued with a Certificate of Application, so that no one is unable to work due to their in-time application to the EU Settlement Scheme not having been decided before the deadline.

However, those who have missed the deadline to submit an application may exploit the opportunity to provide sophisticated false ID documents such as passports and driving licences.

Speaking to HRreview, John Dobson, CEO at SmartSearch, spoke of the negative impact this could have:

“The Government may well be hoping that EU citizens who fail to achieve settled status will be on the next plane or ferry home, but that is just not going to be the case. And I would question that there is the resource to follow up on every failed application. What we are likely to see is a surge in false ID documents being circulated and organised crime taking full advantage of the situation.

“Many of the sectors which traditionally rely on EU citizens as part of its workforce, such as construction, hospitality and retail, have of course been hardest hit by the pandemic. This could prove to be a further challenge to the stability of their business.”

Mr Dobson encouraged businesses to avoid manually checking ID in order to prevent mistakes. He said:

“It’s more vital now than ever that businesses ditch outdated ID checks with hard documents and switch to an online digital solution that can provide a full report on an individual’s ID within a few seconds. The technology is available today to search global databases instantly, with no need for hard copy documents, just a name, address and a date of birth.”