Right to Work – Physical ID checks are needed from the 21st June - 13/05/2021

The Right to Work temporary guidance is changing.

The government have announced that the COVID19 temporary guidance ends on the 20th June. Physical checks of ID documents for Right to Work will need to start from the 20th June (changed from the 17th May)

Right to Work rule changes continue to be in the spotlight

With continual changes (the most recent example is between April and May the physical checks were required from 17th May; on the 12th May this has changed to the 21st June) it is essential to ensure you remain compliant with the employment landscape. It’s a long and winding road from the initial Brexit and the transition period especially when the Home Office guidance is being constantly updated and key milestones arrive.

Consequently, How do you manage to keep up?

From 1st July this year, there are different requirements when employing EU citizens. Specifically, EU citizens (aside from Irish citizens) must have a valid UK immigration status under the European Temporary Leave to Remain scheme, the EU Settlement scheme, or be sponsored through the new points-based immigration system.

Under the latest guidance if you employ an EU citizen who does not have appropriate immigration endorsement and who has not submitted a valid application under the EU Settlement scheme after 30 June 2021, they will be classed as an illegal immigrant.

There is a real risk that employers will face legal consequences for employing an illegal immigrant.

Forgive this hard hitting message about compliance.

For Right to Work, if your employee:

  • Does not have permission to remain in the UK;
  • Had permission to remain but it has expired;
  • Is not allowed to do certain types of work; or
  • Has incorrect or false papers;

….. you cloud be guilty of illegally employing an individual

The Home Office guidance indicates that company directors have a risk of personal liability if found to be employing illegal immigrants. The offense is a criminal one and comes into play if:

  • you employ someone you know lacks the right to work in the UK,
  • have reasonable cause to believe that to be the case,
  • Suspect the worker is illegal.

Forget the £20,000 fine per illegal, as those found guilty of knowingly employing illegal workers can face unlimited fines and a jail term of up to five years.

In summary, changes to the new immigration system were announced before the UK left the EU in March 2019. Consequently, company directors are expected to know about the Home Office guidance for Right to Work. The Governments media have done their job well especially so in 2021.  Therefore, claiming ignorance would be an uphill struggle for any director to argue.

uComply – 11th May 2021

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