Preventing Illegal Working

As an employer, you have a responsibility to prevent illegal working in the UK by ensuring that your employees have the right to work in the UK. Employers face a fine of up to £20,000 if they employ an illegal worker.

Illegal working often results in abusive and exploitative behaviour, the mistreatment of illegal migrant workers, tax evasion and illegal housing conditions. It can also undercut legitimate businesses and have an adverse impact on the employment of people who are in the UK lawfully.

The Home Office has updated its Code of Practice on Preventing Illegal Working. It replaces the Code issued in May 2014.

The Code of Practice sets out the prescribed checks that employers should conduct to avoid a civil penalty in the event of illegal working. Employers may establish a statutory excuse against liability for an illegal working civil penalty by conducting an online right to work check using the Home Office Online Right to Work Checking Service.

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