Right to work
| | | | |

Fines for Illegal Working Set to Rise

From early 2024 (date yet to be announced), the fines for employers who permit illegal migrants to work for them are to be significantly increased. The maximum fine for an employer who has repeatedly offended will increase from £20,000 to £60,000 per illegal worker (a 300% increase!)

In August last year, the UK Home Office unveiled fresh regulations aimed at curbing the presence of illegal migrants. UK employers discovered to be hiring illegal migrant workers will now face fines of £45,000 per individual for a first offence, and repeated violations could escalate to fines of up to £60,000.

Ensuring compliance and averting unintentional employment of undocumented migrants is crucial for UK employers. A civil penalty can be avoided if an employer establishes a statutory excuse by carrying out a right to work (RTW) check in line with the Home Office’s guidance, and ensuring that checks are properly recorded and retained for the necessary length of time. There is also a requirement to conduct follow-up checks for workers whose immigration permission is time-limited.

Employers are advised to review their current recruitment practices and right to work checking processes to minimise the risk of incurring penalties. They should also ensure those who are responsible for conducting right to work checks are trained to do so and fully understand the requirements. 

When is a ‘Right-to-work’ check required

Every employer, regardless of size, has a duty to prevent illegal working and needs to check that every individual they employ has the right to work in the UK. Therefore, it is crucial to carry out the correct RTW checks on all employees, whether new or existing. This mandate applies universally, encompassing British citizens and foreign nationals, irrespective of their residency status in the UK.

Right-to-work checks ascertain that a new hire possesses the legal right to work in the UK before commencing employment. Employers must check acceptable documents validating the employee’s eligibility to work before onboarding them.

A complete employers guide to right-to-work checks can be found on the government website.

Similar Posts