Preventing illegal working in the UK (the documents you must obtain from staff)

At the end of October 2013, the Home Office published an updated version of their “Full guide for employers on preventing illegal working in the UK”. The guide is aimed at employers and human resources staff involved in the recruitment and employment of staff in the UK.

The guide covers the following:

  • The law on illegal working;
  • The role and duties of an employer;
  • The document checks which an employer is required to carry out;
  • Consequences for the employer if they do not carry out the the document checks and are found to be employing an illegal worker.


The Guide can be downloaded here.

In addition, in November 2013 the Home Office has published the results of its consultation on the penalty scheme for Employers not complying with the illegal workers legislation. Further legislation was introduced on 16th May 2014 which changes the following:

  • the maximum penalty for an employer, in respect of each illegal worker, will be increased from £10,000 to £20,000
  • the range of documents that can be used as evidence of the right to work is to be reduced
  • An Employer must keep a record of the date on which it checked a person’s right to work in the UK.
  • An Employer will no longer be required to copy the front cover of a passport.

The Government published a further Guide in May 2014, called An Employers Guide to Right to Work Checks which you can see here.

Please ask us if you have any questions on how to check your staff have the right to work in the UK!

The Human Resources Consultancy service for small and medium sized, creative, UK businesses

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