Navigating the legalities of employment in the UK ...
Posted by Roger Eddowes on 25/09/2023 @ 8:00AM
Starting a new business is an exciting venture, but it also comes with its fair share of responsibilities. One of the most crucial aspects that new business owners often overlook is the importance of conducting right-to-work checks for their employees ...
In today's digital age, ensuring an employee's right-to-work has never been easier!
This isn't just a formality; it's a legal obligation that can have severe consequences if ignored. No matter the size of the business, every employer in the UK is legally bound to ensure that their employees have the right to work in the country.
"This responsibility isn't just limited to large corporations!"
Even small businesses are not exempt. Ignoring this duty can lead to significant penalties, including hefty fines and, in extreme cases, the forced closure of the business. Since 2018, penalties amounting to £88.4 million have been levied on employers who failed to adhere to these regulations.
The government is taking this issue seriously. They have proposed an increase in the penalty for employing illegal workers. For a first-time breach, the fine could go up to £45,000 per illegal worker, a significant jump from the previous £15,000. Repeat offenders could face up to £60,000, up from £20,000. With such high stakes, it's imperative for businesses to be diligent in their hiring practices.
There are several methods to conduct these checks:
Manual Checks: This traditional method involves checking the original documents. It's applicable for both foreign nationals and British and Irish citizens, with some exceptions
Online Checks: Done using the Home Office online system, this method is for foreign nationals who have an online share code
Digital Checks: Introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic, this method uses Identity Document Verification Technology (IDVT) to check right-to-work documentation remotely
Maintaining a record of every document checked is crucial. These records, whether hard copies or scanned, should be stored securely and be readily accessible.
"Failing to produce these documents when required could nullify any defence against penalties!"
In today's digital age, ensuring an employee's right to work has never been easier. With various methods available, there's no excuse for businesses not to conduct these checks diligently. It's not just about avoiding penalties; it's about upholding the law and ensuring a legitimate and safe working environment for all.
Until next time ...
ROGER EDDOWES Business Godparent
Would you like to know more?
If anything I've written in this blog post resonates with you and you'd like to discover more about right-to-work checks, it may be a great idea to call me on 01908 774320 and let's see how I can help.
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Roger trained at Edward Thomas Peirson & Sons in Market Harborough before working at Hartwell & Co, followed by Chancery, as a partner. He started Essendon Accounts and Tax with Helen Beaumont in 2014 as a general practitioner with a hands-on approach.
Roger loves getting his hands dirty, working with emerging, small-to-medium and family businesses to ensure they receive the best possible accountancy advice. Roger utilises an extensive network of business contacts to leverage the best guidance and practical solutions.
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