Government changes seek to modernise the right to work checks required to avoid employing illegal workers in the UK. From 28th January 2019, employers can conduct right to work checks on the Home Office Right to Work Checking Service.
The online service went live in April 2018, but employers also had to check paper documents in all cases. The update means that the service is available to more workers, including the following.
- Non-EEA nationals who hold biometric residence permits or cards.
- EEA nationals with settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.
Employers must still check the appropriate documents if the EEA national does not have settled status under the EEA scheme.
The update has been made under the Immigration (Restrictions on Employment) (Code of Practice and Miscellaneous Amendments) Order 2018. This comes with a revised Code of Practice.
It’s always been the duty of the employer to prevent illegal working. Those who employ a worker who doesn’t have the right to work in the UK face a civil penalty. Punishments for violations carry a maximum fine of £20,000 for each illegal worker. Employers that can demonstrate they’ve carried out the correct checks will have a ‘statutory excuse’ against this liability. But there’s no statutory excuse if the employer knows or has reason to believe they’ve employed an illegal worker. If this is the case, the employer has committed a criminal offence and could face an unlimited fine and a five-year prison sentence.
You can read the latest Home Office guidance for employers on right to work checks here. Mango Pay offers insight on the latest news regarding workers’ rights and employment.