How to Conduct Right to Work Checks for Employees: A Comprehensive Guide

As a UK employer, it is your legal obligation to comply with illegal work prevention legislation. This requires you to carry out basic checks on all employees resident in the UK to verify that they have the necessary permission to perform the work being offered. It is important to note that, as part of pre-hiring controls, checks must be carried out indiscriminately to all potential employees, regardless of their nationality, race or ethnicity. The individualization of certain classes of people could lead to complaints of illegal discrimination.

Conducting a right to work check is essential for employers in the UK. This means verifying a document that is acceptable to show permission to work before hiring a person. It is especially important when hiring from abroad. Additionally, employers must also carry out a follow-up check on people who have a limited-time permit to work in the UK.

Digital checks using IDSPs are currently only available to holders of valid British or Irish passports, or Irish passport cards. Employers must check that the person has the right to work in the UK, to do the type of work for which they hope to hire them, and to check if they have any restrictions. The Employer Verification Service (ECS) is also available when the person is unable to submit valid documents about the right to work or when they have a pending immigration application or appeal. If an employer hires or continues to hire someone who fails to provide the necessary documents as proof of their right to work here, the company can be sanctioned with a civil penalty of up to 20,000 pounds.

If an employer decides to do a retrospective check and identifies a current employee who no longer has the right to work, it must take appropriate action. Employers can't discriminate against or treat people without passports or people who don't want to use digital checks less favorably. All copies of the documents taken must be kept securely during the worker's period of employment and for the next two years. The copy must then be securely destroyed.

Employers must keep this information securely for the duration of employment and for another two years after the end of employment. Expiration dates are valid; be sure to record expiration dates to make sure you perform a follow-up check. Davidson-Morris are legal advisors specializing in business immigration and work with UK employers to ensure compliance with their obligations to prevent illegal work. The person continues to work for their sponsor and any side work is performed outside of the hours contracted for their sponsored employment.

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