Preventing illegal working on construction sites is extremely important.

It may seem that carrying out right to work checks is just a tick box exercise. However, if you do not conduct these checks or do not conduct them in accordance with UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) guidelines, and it is found you have employed workers illegally, you may face having to pay up to £20,000 for each illegal worker

In the last few years, the rules have got even stricter.

An employer who knowingly hires or has reasonable cause to believe an employee is working illegally is committing an offence. It carries a penalty of up to five years’ imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine!  

£ 0
fine for each illegal worker

How should you conduct right to work checks?

All construction employers should follow the three step process outlined by UKVI:

 The documents presented must be listed on the official list of accepted documents. Examples include a current passport or a birth certificate.

You should check the expiry dates; that the picture and date of birth match the person; that the document has not been tampered with, etc. You must always conduct these checks with the document holder in front of you.

Make sure that they are safely stored and that your records clearly show when you carried out the check.

Here are some top tips for construction employers:

  • To prevent any claims of discrimination, you should carry out these checks on all your applicants. Do not make assumptions or determine whether a check is necessary on factors such as their accent, ethnic origin or the time they have lived in the UK.
  • If a person is only allowed to stay in the UK for a certain amount of time, you must carry out follow-up work checks.
  • Make sure those carrying out the checks are fully trained.
  • Encourage sub contractors and suppliers to put in the contracts that rights to work checks need to be carried out

What about Brexit?

Once we exit the EU, employers need to continue to carry out the test. Whether there will be more stringent requirements in the future is still unclear.

Right to Work and Employment Tribunals

An Employment Tribunal held that an employer was allowed to fairly dismiss an employee who, although he had the right to work in the UK, could not provide a document that confirmed this.

Find what you were looking for?

Our FREE resources library contains over 200 searchable blogs, guides and templates focused around Employment Law and Health & Safety issues that employers face on a day-to-day basis.

Get your FREE download

We combine the service quality of a law firm with the certainty of fixed-fee services to provide expert, solutions-focused Employment LawHR and Health & Safety support tailored to employers.

Call us on 0345 226 8393.

Get your FREE download

We combine the service quality of a law firm with the certainty of fixed-fee services to provide expert, solutions-focused Employment LawHR and Health & Safety support tailored to employers.

Call us on 0345 226 8393.

Before you go…

We can help with that HR problem or health and safety query. If you’re an employer, leave your details below and our team will call you back.

Register your interest

Submit your details and one of our team will be in touch.

Get your FREE consultation

Submit your details and one of our team will be in touch.

Download your FREE guide

Submit your details below.

Request a callback

Submit your details and one of our team will be in touch.

Need some help?

Call our team now on:

01244 668 182

Request a Callback

Submit your details and one of our team will be in touch.

Request a Callback
Hi, how can we help?
Click the button below to chat to an expert.

Get your FREE consultation

Submit your details and one of our team will be in touch.