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Posted 7 February 2019
by Cory Stephenson

Do you do enough to prevent illegal working?

Chairs in office boadroom

The Code of Practice on Preventing Illegal Working has been revised by the Government and can be found here. As with the previous version, this sets out the checks employers should carry out to avoid being fined for illegal working. In essence an employer should do the following before employment commences:

  1. Obtain original copies of acceptable right-to-work documents (the guidance contains a list – although some documents may be time-limited);
  2. Check the documents seem genuine; and
  3. Make and retain copies.

In more complex situations employers can use the government’s Employer Checking Service to clarify the position.

Employers who follow these steps are likely to have a statutory defence, meaning no fine can be imposed on them. If employers do not follow the Code and are found to be employing someone illegally, there is a risk of a hefty fine.

Our advice is to compare the Code to your current recruitment processes and make any necessary changes immediately.

If you want to discuss this or any other employment law issue, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our experienced team of employment law solicitors in Exeter.

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About the author

Cory Stephenson


Paralegal within the Litigation and Employment department