Right to work
you need to know

On 16 May 2014, changes were introduced to both strengthen and simplify the civil penalty scheme for employers. The announcement encompassed changes to the document checks employers are required to undertake and included the following eight key points:

  1. The list of acceptable documents for right to work checks no longer includes travel documents, work permits and general Home Office letters
  2. To be deemed as ‘acceptable’, any prescribed document containing an expiry date must now be current (except those showing the holder is a British citizen, a citizen of the UK and Colonies having the right of abode, a national of an European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland or their family members with permanent residence)
  3. The frequency of follow-up checks for people with time-limited right to work is no longer every 12 months. Instead where a person presents a document which contains an expiry date, the follow-up check is required when their permission to be in the UK and do the work in question expires
  4. There is now an extension of the statutory excuse for employers, enabling them to avoid civil penalties for a maximum of 28 days beyond the expiry date of permission to work where the employer is reasonably satisfied that an employee has submitted an application to the Home Office or has an appeal pending against a decision on an application
  5. An extended grace period up to 60 days has been introduced for conducting right to work checks on people acquired as a result of a Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) i.e. TUPE transfer – this extended period is an increase from 28 days
  6. A record of the date on which a check was made must now be retained and the Home Office no longer requires the front page of the passport to be copied in order to establish and retain a statutory excuse
  7. International students who have a limited right to work are required to provide an employer with evidence of their academic term and vacation times for the duration of their studies in the UK while they work
  8. The maximum civil penalty for employing an illegal worker in the UK has increased from £10,000 per illegal worker to £20,000

To ensure compliance with the law we recommend all employers review the latest guide and ensure they continue to undertake suitable right to work checks on their staff, especially those Human Resources staff with responsibility for the recruitment and employment of individuals.

Share story
Back to top of page