As the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill edges closer to being written into law, employment screening and identity verification provider, Sterling, are encouraging employers to ensure they have appropriate risk mitigation measures in place when it comes to hiring.

The Bill outlines recommendations to further clamp down on criminal scams in the UK, including corporate and employee fraud, which have become more sophisticated in recent years. The proposals would see employers face greater accountability in preventing fraud and money laundering.

While still going through the final stages of approval in Parliament, should the new regulations be introduced, businesses and senior leaders could become criminally liable for failure to prevent certain fraudulent activity in their organisation. Creating a robust background check program in partnership with a trusted screening provider may help to mitigate the risk of a bad hire, while providing compliance peace of mind for human resource professionals and those involved in the talent acquisition process.

“As digital transformation continues and the reliance on a flexible, remote workforce increases, the sophistication of, and potential for, fraudulent behaviour becomes more of a risk for firms,” says Steve Smith, President International at Sterling. “This latest Bill is another step being implemented to prevent fraudulent candidate behaviour, but the onus is increasingly being placed on firms and business leaders to improve their due diligence.

“Given the current stage this Bill has reached, it is highly likely to soon become law,” he continues. “Should this happen, employers will need to ensure they have introduced appropriate safeguards. This is going to be challenging as the reliance on temporary and remote workers increases. With limited exposure to staff on a regular basis, monitoring activity and behaviours can be difficult.

“However, firms can demonstrate they have carried out their due diligence through structured and appropriate screening and vetting, eliminating some of the risks to their business. While there may be some firms that are already taking this approach, our Hiring Reimagined study found that a third (33 per cent) of employers haven’t yet amended their candidate vetting in response to the growth of remote and contingent work. Those firms that fall into this category in particular, will be most at risk of scrutiny if the Bill passes.”

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