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Right to Work Checks and Prevention of Illegal Working

Right to Work Checks

All employers who employ staff under a contract of employment, a contract of services, or a contract of apprenticeship must carry out a right to work check on all its employees to ensure no illegal working takes place. Checks should be carried out on all employees, and not only those who appear to be migrants, to avoid any discrimination claims.

Right to work checks can be conducted on prospective employees and job applicants.

You can check the individual’s right to work online, or check their original, approved, documents to complete the right to work check. You should make a record of the checks you make to establish a statutory excuse for your company. This will provide your company with a defence against civil liability.

If you fail to complete the appropriate right to work checks, and you are found to be employing illegal workers, your company may face serious consequences.

Consequences of incorrect right to work checks

A failure to carry out a right to work check on all your employees can result in the following:

  • A reputational damage to the company. Companies who do not comply with their duties are listed on the Home Office illegal working penalties register.
  • A civil penalty of up to £60,000 per illegal worker found to be employed by your company
  • A criminal offence committed by any employer who is knowingly or have reasonable cause to believe they are employing an illegal worker. If found guilty, this can result in up to 5 years’ imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine
  • Closing down of business premises
  • Losing a sponsor licence and the ability to employ migrant workers
  • A discrimination claim by employees who believe they have been discriminated against when carrying out right to work checks

How our immigration solicitors can assist your business

Our Immigration Team has decades of collective experience assisting and advising employers with their right to work duties. You can always expect a timely and accurate advice in respect to any queries you may have.

Our solicitors can provide thorough right to work training to your employees who are responsible for recruitment to ensure they have the correct tools and knowledge to comply with the law to carry out appropriate right to work checks and to ensure no illegal working takes place.

Sponsor licence holders can also receive thorough training from our Freeths Immigration Team on the sponsorship duties to ensure you are aware of and complying with all your sponsor duties and responsibilities. We can also assist you with the day-to-day management of your sponsor licence to ensure compliance with your duties and allowing you a stress-free management of the licence.

We can carry out right to work mock audits of your company’s right to work checking systems to pick out any improvements that could be implemented to ensure a smooth and accurate right to work check every time.

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