Employing migrant workers


Case Study: The Compass Group

The Compass Group - this will open in a new window

The Compass Group



Company Profile

Compass Group is the world's leading foodservice company. Our 400,000 employees specialise in providing food, vending and related services on our clients' premises in over 90 countries and we generate annual revenues of around £11 billion. We pride ourselves on developing and delivering original food and service solutions whether in the workplace, schools and colleges, hospitals, at leisure, on the move or in remote environments. We are passionate about what we do and are dedicated to providing our clients with the highest quality service. We aspire to be a truly great company and to set the benchmark against which other companies will be judged.

Compass Group is a FTSE 100 company. The UK and Ireland business of Compass Group has its head office in Uxbridge, Middlesex. In the UK, Compass Group employs over 90,000 staff.

Values and Approach to employment policy

Compass Group's re launched employment brand includes company's values that describe how all employees should work together to achieve its vision of great results through great people and great service. These values are:
  1. Have a "Can do" attitude
  2. Embrace "Diversity"
  3. Share "Success"
  4. Have a passion for "Quality"
  5. Win through "Team Work"

Compass Group is an equal opportunities employer. They aim to be a preferred employer and view their people as their most valuable asset. They see it as their responsibility to ensure that they lead in a way that nurtures, motivates and inspires people, without exception, to provide outstanding service for one another, their clients and their customers.

Business case/driver for employing non-UK nationals

As there is a shortage of unskilled candidates available for work in the UK, migrants can fill the gap, as they are ready and available to work. They fill the gap where unskilled positions are available within the company. They are often keen to contribute to the company and can offer commitment, flexibility and are able to support themselves.

Models and Processes

The processes involved include:
  • Identification documents are requested from all applicants at first interview e.g. passport, visas, work permits, birth certificates.
  • National Insurance number is often also requested as well as a letter from the Social Security Office to verify the number.

If the candidate is suitable and the correct documentation is in order then the employment offer is made.

If a worker was discovered to be working illegally, a full investigation of the recruitment process would be undertaken and action taken where necessary.

Costs & Risks of Employing Migrant Workers

Costs of employing migrant workers are no more than employing UK nationals.

The ease with which some of the documents acceptable as proof of entitlement to work can be forged, means that there is a small risk that Compass Group are unwittingly employing illegal workers, despite carrying out checks.


Compass Group constantly reviews new legislation and passes this onto anyone within the organisation who has the task of recruiting. It is their responsibility to carry out the necessary checks and to treat all prospective employees equally.

However, Compass Group expressed a need for clear guidelines for employers and future employees, especially to ensure that both parties complete their procedures successfully.

A more simplified system would help ensure a good source of reliable candidates to fill vacancies currently throughout the UK.

Contact details

Andy Freshwater
Email: andrew.freshwater@compass-group.co.uk


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