illegal worker

The news coverage of immigrants boarding or attempting to board trucks travelling from Calais to the UK has been widespread, and this raises the issue of potentially employing an illegal worker. Employers can face a civil penalty of up to £20,000 per worker if they employ an illegal worker. It is therefore important that employers ensure their workers have the right to work in the UK by obtaining the appropriate information.

Here is some useful guidance about obtaining this information:

The documentary evidence required will depend on:

  • whether the individual is an EEA (or Swiss) national;
  • the basis on which the individual has permission to work; and
  • whether there are any restrictions on the right to work.
  • The documents are split into List A and List B documents, depending on whether the individual has an unfettered right or a limited right to work in the UK. Here is a link to a Home Office checklist which provides details of the particular documents required: Home Office checklist
  • You must see the individual’s original documents.
  • You must check that the documents are valid with the individual present.
  • You must make and keep copies of the documents and record the date you made the check.
  • Treat all candidates equally by requesting the same information regarding the right to work in the UK from all job applicants.
  • Request evidence of permission to work in the UK from all short listed candidates.
  • Questions about any restrictions on a candidate’s right to work in the UK (beyond requesting the necessary documents) should be limited to finding out if there are any limits on the type of work the candidate can do or the hours the candidate can work.
  • If evidence has not been requested at interview stage, consider making a job offer conditional on the candidate demonstrating permission to work in the UK.
  • An employer who wishes to recruit a candidate who does not have existing permission to work in the UK will need to sponsor that individual.

Helpful guidance can be found here.

Please let us know if you require any advice on any aspect of employment law. You can contact us on 0141 221 4488 or visit our homepage.

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