Important Laws for Employers (to prevent illegal working)
The Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 came into effect on 29 February 2008. This strengthened the requirement for employers to check documents to establish a person’s eligibility to work in the UK and complaince with any restrictions.
Civil penalties were introduced with fines which recently increased to £20,000 for each illegally employed worker and unlimited fines and imprisonment of up to 2 years for knowingly employing illegal workers. The employee(s) concerned may also be deported.
You need to obtain copies of certain documents from all potential employees (whether you believe them to be British or not) Failure to do this for all employees could result in prosecution under the Race Relations Act. The main documents that must be produced are:
EITHER – any one of the following:
1. A passport showing that the holder is a British citizen, or has a right of abode in the UK or
2. A passport or identity card showing that the holder is a national of an EEA or Switzerland or
3. A passport or travel document showing that the holder can stay indefinitely in the UK or
4. A residence permit, registration certificate or Home office or Border Agency document indicating rights of permanent residence to an EEA or Swiss national or family member or
5. A passport or other travel document indicating the holder is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK
OR – two of the following:
1. An official document showing the employee’s permanent national insurance number
1. A full birth certificate issued in the UK or channel Islands, Isle of Man or Ireland which includes the names of the holder’s parents or
2. A certificate of registration or naturalisation stating that the holder is a British citizen or
3. A letter or Immigration Status Document issued by the Home Office which indicates that the person can stay indefinitely in the UK or can do the type of work being offered
1. A passport or travel document or letter from the home Office endorsed to show that the holder is able to take the employment in question.
2. A work permit together with a passport or travel document or letter from the home Office endorsed to show that the holder is able to take the employment in question.
You need to satisfy yourself that your potential employee is the rightful holder of any of the documents they present to you and to make a photocopy or a scan of the following:
a) The front cover and pages containing the employee’s personal details, photograph and signature
b) Any page containing a UK stamp or endorsement
Taking the above precautions will establish a statutory defence. If you are found to have employed someone illegally you could be fined up to £20,000 and the employee deported.
For further information please visit www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk or you can ring the employers’ helpline on 08457 143 143,