Under teh 1996 immigration act companies are required to prove the immigration status and the right to work of all personnel employeed, which has to be retained for government auditing.  The businesslink.gov.uk website lists many forms of documentation that UK citizens may be asked to provide to prove they have the right to work in this country.  This is often overlooked and companies regularly insist that employees MUST provide their passport to be copied and retained by the employer.

Why is this idea important?

This is an affront to civil liberties in demaning the passport and only the passport if a UK citizen has one, and only accepting other forms of ID if they do not own a passport.

The absence of this documentation in a personnel dpartment may only arise following an audit, which means years can pass before it is even noticed.  This means the fear of failing an government inspection audit is the real reason for having these documents.

I am not aware of any company that publishes to its employees its policy for the secure destruction of these documents.  UK citizens have been advised by central government and the Police Force to shred documents such as letters that just bear the person's name and address before recycling the paper, and yet here the law mandates that companies use nothing more than a filing cabinet to store for years documents that would be of immense benefit in identity theft and organized crime.  Identity theft can leave long lasting and traumatic damage in its wake affecting everything including and individual's mortgage applications and credit ratings, yet this law makes HR/Personnel departments nothing more than a giant personal security hole.

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