Employing migrant workers

Employing migrant workers

There are many advantages to employing migrant workers. They can contribute to the business performance positively by bringing enrichment from different cultures, fill skills gaps in the domestic labour market and help businesses expand into international markets through language skills and cultural awareness.

It is important as an UK employer to stay up-to-date on immigration rules and employment law in order to hire migrant workers legally and avoid civil penalties, which can be up to £20 000 per illegal worker. This requires employers to conduct the correct document checks on every UK-based employee.

Right to Work checks

It is crucial to conduct Right to Work checks to ensure that an employee has the right to work in the UK. These checks must be carried out on all employees – not only migrant workers. If an employer does so according to the Home Office guidance it is possible to establish a ‘statutory excuse’ against liability for a civil penalty in case it is later found that the employee does not have the right to work in the UK after all. However, statutory excuse can only be established if the checks have been conducted before the commencement of employment.

The Home Office has provided a Right to Work checklist of acceptable documents to be used as a proof of the employee’s right to work in the UK. These can be found in List A and List B. The checklist outlines the details and features that need to be present for the documents to be valid. Essentially, an employer must obtain the acceptable documents set out in the checklist, check that the documents are valid and  make a record of them by copying the documentation electronically or into a hard copy.

Tier 2 Sponsorship

Under Tier 2 of the Points-Based System, UK employers must hold a sponsorship licence to employ skilled workers from outside the EEA. It is vital to ensure when applying for a licence that an employer is ready for the compliance regime. Essentially, this means that an employer must have the correct checks, record keeping and specialised staffing in place in order to be able to offer Certificates of Sponsorship for the selected migrant employees.

It is the sponsor’s duty to ensure that the sponsor system is not abused and that he or she carries out the relevant checks. Failing to do so can lead to a Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence suspension or revocation.

How can NA Law Solicitors help?

Making sure that your business only employs people who have a right to work in the UK is a demanding task and it is vital to stay up-to-date with immigration rules and have the right compliance mechanisms in place in order to have the defence of statutory excuse against potential allegations. Please contact our immigration speacialists if you have any concerns.

NA Law Solicitors has a successful track record of providing practical and cost-effective immigration service advice to businesses and individuals on all aspects of UK immigration law. Our expert lawyers are highly experienced in corporate and individual immigration and are able to give specialist legal information and advice on employing migrant workers under the Tier 2 route.

We specialise in UK immigration law for both businesses and individuals, applications made under the European regulation and British nationality law, including the following:

To discuss your immigration matters with a top specialist at NA Law Solicitors, please get in touch.

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