ID cards 'good for employers'

EMPLOYERS will get new help with checking job applicants employment status after new foreign nation identity cards are introduced in November, the Home Office said in Huntingdon last week. Kevin McNulty, head of the Identity and Passport Service s identi

EMPLOYERS will get new help with checking job applicants' employment status after new foreign nation identity cards are introduced in November, the Home Office said in Huntingdon last week.

Kevin McNulty, head of the Identity and Passport Service's identity fraud reduction scheme, explained the new cards to Huntingdonshire businesses at an event - "Better Regulation, Better Business" - organised by Business Link on behalf of regulatory authorities.

Mr McNulty said the new cards, which will be introduced from November 25, will include the bearer's fingerprints and details of employment status. That will enable employers avoid taking on people with no right to work in the UK.

"It will make it possible to check a person against centrally-held records to see if the person is who they say they are. This will make it easier for the UK Border Agency, but also employers and public service providers, to confirm a person's immigration status and eligibility to entitlements in the UK."


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He said that, by 2014, 90 per cent of foreign nationals would have a card. The scheme would be rolled out on the basis of tackling high risk immigration categories first, particularly sensitive roles and locations such as airports.

Employers would be able to telephone to validate the cards, in the same way as some organisations were already able to validate passports over the phone.

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"Five companies have saved over £3.9million, particularly on mortgages, and private sector organisations can get death information from the Registrar Office to prevent fraud," he added.

Mr McNulty also explained how the new optional identity card scheme would work, predicting that by the second half of 2010 they would be available to young people, "and by 2012 all UK citizens will want one. It will be a travel document within the EU, and at about £30 it will be cheaper than a passport, which currently costs £70.

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