How have the ‘right to work’ legislations developed?

As an employer, it’s crucial that, before hiring someone new, you have evidence of their right to work in the UK. Checking all employees’ right to work not only avoids penalties, but it also emphasises the anti-discriminatory nature of your business.

Amongst the vast array of responsibilities and duties that employers have, taking appropriate action against illegal working makes up for a considerable proportion. If you do carry out the relevant checks that come under the government’s legislation, then you have a statutory excuse – which you can use for personal protection in the event of a government check of your establishment. By contrast, if you haven’t carried out the relevant legal checks and you’re found to be employing an illegal worker, action will be taken. It’s therefore highly important that as an employer, you stay up-to-date with changes in right to work legislation, and ensure that you are implementing these in your workplace.

Before December 2018, employers were required to obtain relevant documentation from candidates that showed proof of their right to work. Employers are now able to use the online Right to Work Checking Service as the only method of collecting this information, without needing to collect the corresponding legal documents. In addition to making this an easier process for all people involved, this has also eliminated the risk of prospective candidates forging documents.

Migrants no longer need to sift through paperwork and find the relevant documents to present to employers, making the application process more efficient. A simple online form is filled out through the Gov.uk website, before authorising it to be checked through by the employer. This shows details regarding their current immigration status, and is now sufficient enough to protect the employer and their business from any possible penalties.

The Employer Checking Service can be found on the Gov.uk website; click here to have a browse.

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