Safeguard your business against illegal workers

There has been a lot of media focus in the last week on the employment of illegal migrants within the UK.

Employers who unwittingly hire an illegal worker are committing a civil offence and the immigration office have stated that any company found to be employing illegal migrants could be fined up to £20,000 per worker.

Following on from this news it is vital that you put the correct procedures in place to safeguard your business.

Our Employment Law expert, Caroline Wilkson explains how even the most simple changes can hold you in good stead if you were to defend yourself against a criminal charge.

“It is as simple as ensuring that you have undertaken the correct document checks and have a paper trail that clearly demonstrates this.

For example, a job applicant should always be asked to provide proof of their right to work as a condition of any offer of employment.

There are specific lists detailing what documentation are legally acceptable in these circumstances. List A essentially details documents evidencing an unrestricted right to work in the UK and List B essentially details documents evidencing a limited right to work in the UK.

You should require the original documents to be provided and should take and hold on file copies in a manner that can’t be altered. The original should be examined to ensure that the document appears genuine and that there are no signs of alteration.

Ideally this step should be taken prior to the person commencing work. In the case of List B these steps should be taken again at the point the right to work demonstrated expires.”

If you have read this article and realised that you have not followed this process when employing staff, don’t worry! You can resolve this by asking your staff to bring in the relevant documentation to prove that they are legally entitled to work in the UK.

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