Immigration checking changes – what do employers need to know?

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There have been a number of changes to immigration checking rules for employers together with an increase in the maximum civil penalty for employing an illegal worker from £10,000 to £20,000 per worker. The Home Office has published two new statutory codes of practice for employers; one on preventing illegal working and one on avoiding unlawful discrimination while preventing illegal working. There is also a raft of newly published guidance. Importantly, the range of documents that are acceptable to establish the right to work has been reduced and this change will affect all new recruits.

The new codes of practice, which apply to all employers regardless of size or resources, are statutory which means that they can be referred to in evidence and must be taken into account by Courts and Tribunals where relevant. It can be costly to fall foul of the requirements and can affect an employer’s ability to sponsor migrants who come to the UK to work in the future. It is therefore worth taking the time to make sure your organisation is operating in line with the legal framework and the new codes of practice.