The whole of Europe is currently in a migrant crisis resulting from conflicts in Syria and other parts of the Middle East. The UK government appears to be gearing up to accept thousands of people seeking asylum. Many of the migrant workers who have been displaced by conflict are skilled workers who will no doubt be seeking employment when they enter the UK.
This can present a number of pitfalls for prospect employers in ensuring that they stay on the right side of immigration and employment law. Failing to carry out basic checks can mean that an employer ends up with a civil fine of up to £20,000. For the most serious breaches employers can find themselves being prosecuted through the criminal courts.
What are an employer’s obligations then to avoid ending up on the wrong side of the law?
First and foremost and employer is obligated to check a potential employee’s right to work in the UK before they are offered the job. Doing a check on the first day of a person’s employment can in fact be a breach of your obligations. Therefore before a person’s first day of work and employer must obtain original copies of documents which prove the person’s right to work in the UK. There are various documents which are acceptable passports, birth certificates etc. The documents must then be checked for validity in the presence of the potential employee and lastly a copy must be taken of the document and retained. It is important to ensure you take a note of when the check was carried out as certain document checks expire. If a person continues to work for you after their right to work has passed you can again fall foul of the law.
If any of the issues raised in this article affect your business, please give me a call to discuss your options. We are happy to advise and find a solution that works for you and your business: 01235 250011