It is illegal to employ workers who do not have a right to work in the UK. Businesses also need to ensure that any workers that may have limited rights to work do not work beyond what they are allowed to do.
If you are an employer with a Tier 2 licence to employ non-EU workers you have considerable additional responsibilities, for example, you need to update the Home Office on any change to your business or the employee's contract and must report any breaches. An employer who consistently breaches these responsibilities is in danger of having its licence withdrawn.
The consequences of getting your immigration obligations wrong are severe:
- Fines of up to £20,000 per worker
- Significant reputational damage
- The potential loss of valuable contracts.
What can you do to avoid these risks?
If a business has carried out the necessary checks; reasonably believes the worker has the right to work and keeps proper prescribed records, then there is a full statutory defence and even part compliance may result in a reduced fine.
It is therefore important that businesses have systems in place to ensure that they are performing the correct checks in the first place when engaging non-EU workers but that an originally legal worker does not become an illegal one.
How can we help?
Thomson Snell & Passmore has partnered up with the immigration team at Blake Morgan LLP to offer clients an immigration compliance audit service, as well as immigration advice and support.
Our immigration compliance audit involves:
- A site visit at your premises
- Carrying out an audit of a pre-agreed sample base
- The provision of a report of our findings and recommendations within 7 days
- If necessary assistance to ensure a correct system is in place.
If you are interested in finding out more about our immigration compliance audit service please email Alex Millward or call him on 01322 623707.