DO not dump responsibility for policing immigration on small firms, businesses leaders have told the Government. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has called on Whitehall to recognise the difficulty that small firms have when working within existing laws relating to illegal workers. Small businesses do not have human resources departments, the FSB reminds Ministers. Personnel functions are carried out by the owners who often do not have the relevant expertise or sufficient time to devote to the task. Furthermore, small businesses already spend an average of 28 hours per month filling in forms for the Government. Ironically, the federation said, businesses also run the risk of being accused of discrimination if they are too rigorous with their nationality checks. The FSB is therefore calling on the Government to ensure workers are legal through their own mechanisms, such as when issuing National Insurance numbers. This would ensure that the Government polices immigration and businesses get on with generating a profit and providing jobs. FSB Huntingdonshire chairman Malcolm Lyons, which has nearly 1,000 member companies, said: "The FSB's proposal ensures that small businesses can get on with employing over 12 million people and generating half of the UK's GDP. Taxes on business pay for the Government to police our borders, and they should take this activity seriously, rather than seek to dump the responsibility on employers." Alan Tyrrell, FSB employment chairman, added: "The Government is right to want to prevent illegal workers and to punish businesses that knowingly employ them. These unscrupulous businesses undercut honest firms by doing so. However, border security and immigration is a role that should be carried out by the authorities. "It is not right that businesses are asked to become pseudo-immigration officials. Small business owners have enough to do just to keep their business afloat without performing an essential function of Government as well.