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Importance of right to work checks for UK employers

In December 2022, the UK government introduced a plan to combat illegal working and migration. With increased enforcement and more raids on illegal working, organisations now face heightened scrutiny. Employers must ensure their staff have the right to work legally to avoid fines and reputational damage. In this series on the legal right to work, join Shabana Muneer and Ruth Jowett as they explore employer obligations and the importance of accurate right to work checks.

Click here to watch our Business Immigration experts discuss the Importance of right to work checks for UK employers

Click here for our overview on right to work checks for UK employers

Why are right to work checks important?

Employers in the UK must conduct right to work checks on all employees to prevent illegal working, these checks verify eligibility based on immigration status.

Correctly conducting right to work checks is crucial to avoid:

  • Legal consequences: Employers may face enforcement action and fines of up to £20,000 per illegal worker. In severe cases, criminal penalties of up to 5 years’ imprisonment and unlimited fines can apply.
  • Reputational damage: Penalties for illegal working harm an employer’s reputation. Quarterly reports publicly name employers with civil penalties.
  • License implications: Civil penalties can lead to downgrading or revocation of sponsor licenses, impacting recruitment efforts.

How we can help

With the UK government’s focus on combating illegal working, employers must ensure staff have the legal right to work. Accurate checks prevent penalties and protect reputation. Contact Shabana or Ruth to help you implement a comprehensive right to work policy. They will expertly guide you through the necessary procedures to navigate checks and effectively safeguard your interests.

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Employment & Immigration

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Senior Associate

Employment & Immigration

Ruth's contact details

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