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Recruitment agency wants copy of passport - am I legally obliged to give it

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Hello,

 

I have a question relating to sending a copy of a passport via email to a recruitment agency.

 

It's for a friend, who is insistent they are not going to send a copy, to the agent, but I just wanted to ask here as I know there are some excellent and knowledgable people on here who will know more of the legalities.

 

My friend saw a job advertised, contacted the agent advertising the job etc and went for several interviews with the company. The agent has been the go-between, and my friend will not be working at any time for the agent, it is merely a job finding service (for which the agent will receive a very hefty commission).

 

He has received written contract from the company, the contract states provision of P45/passport etc required to prove right to work in UK. We both totally understand the company which will be his employer is obliged to do such checks etc. He has signed contract, and will take all docs necessary on day 1, and new employer is happy with this.

 

Meanwhile, after the agent arranged interviews, and job has been accepted and contract signed (with prospective employer) the agent is now insisting on my friend providing a copy of passport to them via email. This is over 4 months after initial contact with the agency.

 

Due to fraud concerns, friend does not intend to send any copy of identity docs over email. He also thinks that as the agent is not the employer then he is not legally obligated to provide such proof.

 

Surely if this is a legal requirement, the agency should have requested (and received) required documents before any CV was forwarded never mind 3 interviews and a job contract signed?

 

Also my friend has not seen and T&C for the service which agency has provided, and has not signed anything with them.

 

Is my friend legally obliged to send copy of passport to the agent?

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How does your friend intend to prove their identity to this agency?

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How does your friend intend to prove their identity to this agency?

 

Hi, and thanks for your reply, please forgive me as I am quite poorly today, my head is rather foggy, and I am not really sure of the question you are asking.

I am unsure if you are saying that my friend does have to prove his identity (under a legal requirement) and how he intends to do so, or if you are asking what my friend intends to provide as an alternative form of id and delivery (ie not email).

 

My friend has been in contact with the agency for well over 4 months, my friend sent his cv to the agency, which was sent onwards to the future employer, and a job offered, accepted and signed. The agency has seen my friends cv, he has contacted him via email and telephone throughout these past 4 months.

 

At no time has the agency asked for any proof of identity, it seems a bit strange that the proof is requested after a job has been secured and not before a cv was sent onwards. We both understand the legalities of an employer requesting info, I am asking wether there is a legal requirement to provide such information to an agent, which is not an employer but merely a recruitment service.

 

Thanks me_too

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They have been requiring this type of proof for a long while, certainly as far back as 2008. Apparently it is to prevent illegal working. Employers or their agents can get into trouble if they are found to hiring employees with no right to work in the UK.

 

In post 14 of the MSE link below it advises what an Agency/Employer has to do now.

 

http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showpost.php?p=9178617&postcount=14


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They will have to prove they are allowed to work in the UK.

 

It's a legal requirement for employers, but not so much for the agency. The reason that the agency want proof, is so they don't waste time recommending people for job interviews if they can't even work in the UK legally. If they didn't check, they would get a bad reputation rather quickly.

 

He should show them his Passport if he want's them to find him work.

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If it's a reputable agency that you know well, fine.

 

If it's an unknown agency that has no established feedback, I would stay away.


"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for Poundland"

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He should show them his Passport if he want's them to find him work.

Is it a legal requirement to have a passport?

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Of course not. So he should tell them he has no passport. They'll probably accept naturalisation papers, Home Office documentation etc instead.

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Hi,

Thanks to everyone for their advice.

I have viewed the MSE page too (thanks citizenB).

 

My friend is UK citizen, born here and has a work history of over 20 years. I didn't mention this before as I know it isn't relevant in terms of the law, everybody is equal under the 'prove you can work in uk' law introduced a few years ago. (Sorry I don't know exactly the legal terms to quote but I understand the gist of the law).

 

There is no doubt they are legal to work, and they do have a UK Passport.

 

The main issue was the legalities in it being implied they must provide an electronic copy to an agency who is not the employer, and will never be the employer, but merely a service of introduction (of course for the commission). They know the legalities in that they must produce p45/passport to the employer, its just the middleman who is now insisting for a copy, several months after first distributing copies of their CV to prospective employers.

 

The friend wishes to keep who has copies of their passport to a minimum, so as to prevent id fraud, and really doesn't wish to send a copy to the middleman unless he is really required to do so.

 

My friend has already accepted the job, returned a copy of the signed contract and has agreed a start date.

It seems to us that the agent appears now not to have followed their own company procedures.

 

Having looked at the agents website, I can confirm it doesn't appear to be very professional, however it appears they are a legitimate company.

 

Thanks for all of the advice, and I have passed all of this valuable info on to my friend to view.

 

me_too

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Maybe the middle man (agency) are doing the relevant checks to make sure they can work in the UK.

Which once completed will be forwarded to the employer.

To be honest, stalling could and possibly would cost them the job.

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Yeah the whole discussion is pretty pointless and / or academic.

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It is illegal for anyone to copy a UK passport so always a bit awkward. Driving licence instead?

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It is illegal for anyone to copy a UK passport so always a bit awkward. Driving licence instead?

 

lol

 

Make a note of your passport number and consider taking a photocopy with you and/or storing it online using a secure data storage site.

 

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-checklist

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I know, banks claim that they have special permission to make copies for ID purposes but when you demand to see that permission in writing it isnt forthcoming. Same goes for certain other documents but if you ask whether you are immune from prosecution (for example having a firearm in a public place without a firearm certificateon you) the answer is a resounding no. Advice from government officials doesnt always match the law. and HMRC will tell you that you have to pay CGT on a house sale when you dont

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It's not a legal requirement for him to show the agency his passport. Neither is it a legal requirement for the agency to look for a job for him (unless a contract is in place). They simply do it to cover themselves with the employers.

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I know, banks claim that they have special permission to make copies for ID purposes but when you demand to see that permission in writing it isnt forthcoming. Same goes for certain other documents but if you ask whether you are immune from prosecution (for example having a firearm in a public place without a firearm certificateon you) the answer is a resounding no. Advice from government officials doesnt always match the law. and HMRC will tell you that you have to pay CGT on a house sale when you dont

 

Absolutely :)

 

It's probably something to do with presenting it personally- perhaps thus implying permission.

 

Whoop whoop this is tha sound of the bank

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I have shown them (bank) my passport and allowed them to take down the number but not photocopy it. this may be good enough for the OP's position.

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It is illegal for anyone to copy a UK passport so always a bit awkward. Driving licence instead?

 

That is an urban myth. It is quite legal to photocopy a passport

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/jobs/8189854/Careers-advice-To-show-or-not-to-show-you-passport-on-request.html

 

This is mostly about ageism.. but if you read the whole article you will see that you can ask to delay providing a copy of your passport until after a job offer has been made.

  • Haha 1

Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

Uploading documents to CAG ** Instructions **

 

Looking for a draft letter? Use the CAG Library

Dealing with Customer Service Departments? - read the CAG Guide first

 

1: Making a PPI claim ? - Q & A's and spreadsheets for single premium policy -

HERE

2: Take back control of your finances -

Debt Diaries

3: Feel Bullied by Creditors or Debt Collectors?

Read Here

4: Staying Calm About Debt

Read Here

5: Forum rules - These have been updated -

Please Read

 

 

BCOBS

 

2: Does your Bank play fair - You can force your Bank to play Fair with you

3: Banking Conduct of Business Regulations - The Hidden Rules

4: BCOBS and Unfair Treatment - Common Examples of Banks Behaving Badly

5: Fair Treatment for Credit Card Holders and Borrowers - COBS

 

 

 

Advice & opinions given by citizenb are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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