For those that don’t know, before employing a person you must check that they have the legal right to work in the UK. You do this by checking original copies of appropriate documents, taking copies of those documents and recording the date of the check. If the individual has a time limited right to work, you must repeat the check prior to the right to work expiring. Checks must be carried out for everyone, regardless of whether they are a foreign or English national.

We were contacted by a client who had received a letter from the Home Office requesting information about a foreign national who the Home Office believed was employed illegally. Our client replied promptly with all the information requested, including a copy of the right to work documentation.

Carrying out the appropriate right to work check means that an employer has a statutory defence if they are later found to be employing someone illegally and will avoid a penalty. As the penalty can be up an unlimited fine or even 5 years in jail for employing someone illegally, it’s important you carry out these checks.

Because our client had carried out the appropriate checks, they have been told by the Home Office that they will not be imposing a penalty in this case.

Contact us if you’ve not sure what documents need to be provided.

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