It’s a criminal offence to knowingly employ someone who has no right to work or live in the UK. As a business owner, you must check and keep evidence of each employee’s legal right to work. Our immigration solicitors can help make sure your organisation is compliant.

Under laws introduced in 2006, an employer can be liable for a fine of up to £20,000 per illegal worker they employ in their business. These fines can apply even if the employer didn’t know that the employment was illegal. The only defence to a fine is if you can show the Home Office that you have been keeping the right records on your employees.

The consequences are serious for any business but can be particularly disruptive if you have a sponsor licence. If you break these rules, you could lose your license and your right to sponsor migrant workers to work for you.

We can audit your business to check if you’re compliant and advise on next steps if you’re not. We can also work closely with you to put policies and procedures in place to help you stay compliant and manage risk in the future. If you already face investigation or prosecution, we can advise and represent you throughout to minimise the impact on your organisation.

To find out more about how our immigration lawyers can help, call us on 0808 271 2602 or fill in our online enquiry form and we’ll get back to you.

What should I do to prevent illegal working?

Employers can be liable for fines if you don’t carry out the proper checks before employing a migrant worker. You should:

  • Check the applicant’s original documents – Confirm the documents are genuine and valid with the applicant, making sure date of birth, photos and personal information is the same across all documents
  • Check the applicant’s right to work online, if they’ve given you their share code.

You must check that the dates for the applicant’s right to work in the UK haven’t expired. You must also make a copy of the original documents and keep them on record as evidence.

If your employee can’t show you their documents, you must ask the Home Office to check their immigration employment status. The Home Office will then send you a ‘Positive Verification Notice’ to confirm the applicant’s right to work. You must keep this document on their record to show you have legally employed them.

The easiest way to make sure all this happens is to have the right policies and procedures in place. We know that recruitment is different for every business and every sector. We’ll get to know your organisation and create a plan that suits your specific commercial situation.

Contact us today to find out more – Call 0808 271 2602 or fill in our online enquiry form.

How we can help if your business is investigated for illegal working?

The risk of investigation or prosecution is one that any business should avoid. Investigations can be disruptive and fines can be damaging, and losing a sponsor license could impede recruitment for years.

Your reputation is also at risk - the Home Office website publishes the names of all businesses that have been fined so there’s nowhere to hide.

Our immigration team can help your business avoid these risks by:

  • Auditing your existing right to work processes and policies
  • Drafting new policies or amending existing policies for full compliance
  • Advising on recruitment and record-keeping procedures.

We can also help if you’re already under investigation. We can explain what you need to disclose and what you don’t, and represent you in any interview or communications with the Home Office. If the investigation progresses to prosecution, we can advise and represent you throughout.

Call and speak to a member of our team today on 0808 271 2602.

Why choose us?

Our immigration lawyers provide cost-effective and tactical advice to individuals and the businesses they work for. We have a long-standing relationship with the Home Office and know how they work. This means we can give you the best advice on how to deal with them.

We know how beneficial migrant employees can be for your business, so will work to find practical solutions so you can continue to employ the talent you need. We’ll offer clear, jargon-free legal advice so you know exactly where you stand, every step of the way.

We’re top rated in the legal guides, Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 and with offices nationwide, we can help you wherever you’re based.

Contact us

Get in touch with our team today to discuss how we can help you – call us on 0808 271 2602 or get in touch online.

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