Are you sure that all of your employees are legally allowed to work in the UK? Would you bet £20,000 on it? Employers who fail to take reasonable care to comply with the necessary checks when taking on new employees could face fines of up to £20,000 per illegal worker.

The responsibility, as ever, lies with the employer to check the worker’s documents and entitlement to work in the UK.

The process is;

1. Obtain the originals of your employee’s documents proving their right to work in the UK.

2. Check the documents in the presence of the employee (i.e. does the photo look right, check the document has not expired)

3. Make a photocopy of the documents for your records, making a record of the date that the check was made. Copies must be kept securely for the duration of the worker’s employment, plus 2 years after they have left your employment. You must also ensure that you store the records in compliance with the Data Protection Act.

There are two lists of acceptable documents that your employee can provide to you. List A documents only need to be checked once at the start of the employment. List B contains time sensitive documents which should be checked every 6 months, with a copy being retained each time. You can find details of List A and List B at :

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/preventing-illegal-working-code-of-practice-for-employers