Those of you attended our seminar will know that recent changes to immigration policy will impact companies’ abilities to recruit foreign workers. Any company who wishes to advertise vacancies abroad (including in the E.U) will have to advertise in the U.K before or at the same time as advertising abroad.

Furthermore tier two (non E.U) workers have to earn at least £35,000.00 a year but any company found employing workers illegally (accidental or otherwise) will face large fines and criminal sanctions. This raises the question about what to do if you are unsure whether an employee, or prospective employee, has the right to work in the UK.

The recent case of Nayak v Royal Mail answered that question. It held that if an employer has reasonable belief that an employee does not have the right to work in the UK then the dismissal will be fair, even if the employee did actually have the right to work in the UK. A reasonable belief should be based on not receiving correct documents in an agreed timeframe with no valid reason for delay.

To avoid employing illegal workers make sure your right to work policy is updated to reflect these recent changes. Obtain correct documents before or on the first day of employment and date your copies to indicate they were received before the employee started.

Note when the visa expires and make sure this process has been repeated before that date. If you suspect a document is a forgery or fraudulent then make sure you report the incident to the relevant authority and do not employ the applicant.

For any advice on this issue please contact us.