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How to carry out right to work checks

Employment Law & HR
BG Purple

Note: this article was first written by our colleagues at Solve HR, before Solve HR joined Law At Work in March 2020. We have imported this...

Accurate right to work checks are mandatory if employers wish to avoid a financial penalty or, at worst, a prison sentence. Are you being compliant and getting the checks right? The check is simple: Obtain the individual's original document(s) - Acceptable documents are contained within the Home Office's guidance on right to work checks, and are updated from time to time, so always ensure that you are looking at the latest version of the guidance Check the document(s) in the presence of the individual - You must physically hold the documents. If the document is false, you will only be liable if it is reasonably apparent that the document is false. Make sure the person in front of you is the person pictured and described in the document Make and retain a clear copy of the document(s), including a record of the date you carried out the check - You can save the documents electronically or in hard copy, in colour or black and white. Just make sure you know where the copies can be found. There is no need to sign the copy. Copies should be kept for two years after the individual's employment ends If you are found to be employing an illegal worker, and you have not carried out the correct right to work checks, you could be fined up to £20,000 per illegal worker. If you are found to have knowingly employed an illegal worker, or if you have reasonable cause to believe an individual is an illegal worker, you risk an unlimited fine and up to five years in prison. You should ensure that your organisation has a robust process in place for carrying out right to work checks and that those responsible understand the potential consequences of getting it wrong. Training relevant staff regularly is key. It may also be helpful to carry out an audit from time to time to ensure that your organisation is compliant. If you require any help with this please contact Solve

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