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Right to work in the UK checks - how to avoid a hefty fine

23rd August 2016

Recent reports in the press about the Home Office raid on Byron Burgers highlights the need for employers to be vigilant about documentation provided by workers showing their “right to work” in the UK.  Employers have a legal obligation to ensure that their workers are entitled to work in the UK.

A statement on the Byron website confirms  that Byron was unaware that any of their workers were in possession of counterfeit documentation until the Home Office brought it to their  attention and that sophisticated counterfeit documentation was used by workers in order to pass these checks. As Byron had carried out checks they avoided a hefty fine of up to £20,000 per illegal employee.

So employers should make sure they (1) request original documentation – this could be a passport or biometric residence permit  (2) check the documentation carefully – does the photo ID match the person and check expiry dates and (3) keep copies of the documentation and the date of checking as evidence for the future – to avoid fines and reputational damage.

Finally remember that if you are buying a business, you should ensure that up to date documentation is in place for the all of the staff.

For further information, please contact Jacqueline McCluskey.

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