Because of a lack of information and understanding of the Criminal Finances Act 2017, as many as 43% of recruitment agencies are potentially at risk when it comes to criminal charges.
The findings of the report, conducted by 6CATS International in partnership with Camino Partners, are particularly worrying due to the fact that one third of the survey respondents are responsible for compliance in their firm.
This news comes at a time when the government is planning to bring the remainder of the Act into force in just over one months’ time – from the 16th April 2018, the regulation will increase HMRC’s powers in relation to searches as well as the seizure and detention of cash. Officers will also be allowed to seize valuable property under the Act in this latest roll out.
Michelle Reilly, CEO of 6CATS International, commented, “It’s hugely concerning that so many recruiters – particularly those at Director level – are unaware of the risks they face as a result of the Criminal Finances Act 2017. This legislation has been a long time coming and as we are now five months on from the initial introduction we would expect this number to be much lower.”
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She added, “While contractor compliance is a complex issue, it’s one that all recruiters in the UK need to be aware of and understand – and this needs to be driven from the top of the business. It will be company owners who face the criminal charges should they fail to prove that they have the requisite procedures in places to prevent the facilitation of evasion. This means that recruitment agency owners and Directors could face charges for fraudulent activity they weren’t even aware of, simply through their firms’ association with a contractor or third-party supplier.
“It is encouraging that when asked to rank the importance of contractor compliance on a scale of 1 – 10, respondents selected an average of 9.2. However, valuing compliance and implementing it are two separate issues. Agency owners need to take action now before it is too late.”
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