24 Oct 2016, 13 mins ago

The Mark Harper Scandal

The recent scandal involving Immigration Minister, Mark Harper, who unknowingly employed an illegal migrant as his cleaner and fell foul of his own legislation, has highlighted a need for employers to be careful about whom they employ.

As an employer, you’re at risk of facing large fines if your workers don’t meet the right-to-work requirements set by the Home Office.

We’ve put together a checklist to help you comply with the right-to-work requirements and avoid punishment.

Right-to-Work Document Checklist

By carrying out document checks you can provide yourself with a statutory excuse if an employee turns out to be an illegal migrant worker and avoid a potentially large fine. But, when conducting these checks, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • You must obtain one of the single documents or specified combinations of documents set by the Home Office
  • Only accept original documents
  • Check photos against the appearance of the person
  • Check that the date-of-birth is consistent on all documents
  • Check the expiry dates of any limited leave to enter or remain in the UK have not passed
  • Check UK government endorsements to see if the person is allowed to do the kind of work you are offering
  • Satisfy yourself that the documents are genuine, have not been tampered with and belong to the holder
  • If you have been given two documents with different names ask for a document of explanation (e.g. marriage certificates, divorce decree absolute, deed poll or statutory declaration)
  • Make photocopies of all documents for your files
  • If a person has a time limit on their right-to-work you must repeat these document checks at the point of expiry and every 12 months
  • Carry out these checks on all potential employees to avoid discrimination