Right to work

Key elements of law

Key elements include:

The Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 established a criminal offence of knowingly employing an illegal migrant worker. This carries the potential of an unlimited fine and/or prison sentence of up to two years.

• Employers are also liable for a civil penalty of up to £10,000 per illegal worker if they employ someone who does not have the right to work in that role.

• The liability for the civil penalty falls upon the labour provider where it supplies temporary workers and the contract to work is between the worker and the labour provider.

• Employers will have a statutory excuse from this liability if they have checked and retained copies of certain original documents before an employee starts work.

• Employers must not hold any workers’ documentation for longer than 1 day to carry out these checks. If a worker asks for it to be returned you must return it immediately.

• Employers must not racially discriminate in preventing illegal working processes.

• Employers should not use bogus self-employment as a means to use Bulgarian and Romanian workers.