Brian Sims

SIA leads joint operation to identify illegal working practices in Birmingham

THE SECURITY Industry Authority (SIA), HMRC and the West Midlands Police recently carried out a joint operation in Birmingham to ensure that security are being employed legitimately and treated fairly. Teams attended two Christmas markets plus several licensed venues in the city centre.

The SIA and HMRC teams spoke to security operatives to check the correct taxes were being paid and to ensure they were not victims of any labour abuse.

During the course of the targeted operation, teams carried out 78 checks on operatives. All operatives were found to be correctly licensed.

Further enquires will be made to check on those companies using self-employed staff and also to ensure operatives have been paid the national minimum living wage.

Paul Fullwood, director of inspections and enforcement at the SIA who took part in the operation, said: “It was great to be out in Birmingham city centre on an SIA-led operation as part of our ongoing inspection activity across the UK of the private security industry. I was impressed by the overall professionalism from the security operatives we spoke with, all of whom were doing a great job in areas with high public footfalls.”

Fullwood continued: “Part of our inspection work with HMRC was to check for the operation of PAYE with security operatives and identify tax abuses in the security industry. We are determined to ensure operatives are treated fairly and to create a level playing field for legitimate businesses who play by the rules.”

The SIA has been working with HMRC to educate security companies about which members of their security staff need to be working under PAYE. 5,000 more operatives are now correctly being paid through PAYE who were previously self-employed, in turn protecting their rights and benefits.

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