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Under the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, employers have a duty to ensure that employees are legally entitled to work in the UK. These checks should take place at the recruitment stage and not on the employee’s first day of work. 

Depending on the type of documentation provided, further checks may be required at a later stage.  The type of documents that are acceptable proof are set out in Annex A of the guide and if further checks are also required.

The Home Office has updated their employer’s guide to reflect the changes brought about by the UK leaving the EU and includes the following changes:

  1. An update on right to work checks for EEA and Swiss nationals
    during the grace period (1 January – 30 June 2021)
  2. An overview of the new routes under the points-based system.
  3. The temporary adjusted right to work checking process during COVID-19

The new guide can be viewed or downloaded from

Employers are reminded that the right to work checks are an employer’s defence if a worker is later found to be working illegally.  Civil penalties for employing illegal workers are up to £20,000 and where it is found that an employer knowingly or had good cause to know that the worker was illegal, this is a criminal offence which can carry a prison sentence.

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