Industry can tackle issue better, says Considerate Construction Scheme

A third of the UK construction industry has admitted to suspecting that illegal workers may have been present at an existing or previous employer, according to new research.

As the drive to rid the construction sector of illegal workers continues, a poll conducted by the Considerate Construction Scheme (CCS) found that 93% agreed illegal working could be better tackled in the construction industry, while 81% believed illegal working had been on the rise in the past 15 years.

The CCS survey was undertaken in December as part of its ‘Spotlight on…illegal workers’ campaign, which it said aimed to “increase understanding of the risk posed by illegal construction workers and identify what can be done to tackle the problem”.

Nearly a third (30%) of those polled agreed that illegal workers posed the greatest threat to health and safety, while 61% admitted they had not received – or rarely received – information on illegal working.

CCS chief executive Edward Hardy said ensuring the legitimacy of the workforce was one of the key challenges currently facing the construction sector.

“The industry must work together to ensure that checks for workers’ legitimacy becomes firmly entrenched within all construction activity across the UK.

 “By challenging sites to explore how they currently assess and monitor the legitimacy of their workforce, the scheme believes that in the not-so-distant future, all registered sites, companies and suppliers will have robust procedures in place,” he added.