National Insurance: Immigrants

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 15th July 2008.

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Photo of James Clappison James Clappison Shadow Spokesperson (Work and Pensions)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 9 May 2008, Official Report, column 1289W, on national insurance: immigrants, how many individuals were on the list of those whose licences had been revoked supplied by the Security Industry Authority to his Department; and when his Department began checking the national insurance numbers and national insurance status of the illegal workers.

Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions) (Employment and Welfare Reform)

The Security Industry Authority (SIA) provided the Department for Work and Pensions with a list of 7,266 individuals on 7 March 2008, and a further 920 individuals on 16 April 2008. This total of 8,186 names included cases where licences had already been revoked and all cases where appeals were pending at the time and where revocation remained a possibility. Work on checking the cases commenced on the 10 March 2008 and has only recently been completed.

Analysis of the details provided by the SIA shows that a total of 294 national insurance numbers were issued following the introduction of the right to work test in July 2006. Detailed checks have confirmed that 269 of these did have the right to work at the time the NINO was issued. The right to work had subsequently expired which is why they were found to be working illegally by the SIA. A balance of 25 cases were found not to have had the right to work and to have been issued with a NINO incorrectly. However, this was due to a temporary misunderstanding by staff about students having an automatic right to work which was quickly rectified.

The remaining 7,892 cases were either issued before the right to work test was introduced (4,617 or about 58.5 per cent. of the 7,892) or are cases where the names or NINOs given to the SIA appear to be false (3,275 or about 41.5 per cent.). Further examination into cases where false names or NINOs appear to have been provided has been initiated where appropriate.

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