Illegal working: dealing with employees
Produced in partnership with Ben Amunwa of 36 Civil
Illegal working: dealing with employees

The following Immigration guidance note Produced in partnership with Ben Amunwa of 36 Civil provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Illegal working: dealing with employees
  • Employment status
  • Identifying a potential illegal worker
  • Dealing with a potential illegal worker
  • Circumstances where an employee may have the right to work which is not apparent from their documents
  • Review HR policies and procedures
  • Potential employment law issues

An employer who is found to have employed a person unlawfully in the UK may be liable to civil penalties and/or criminal sanctions. For further information, see Practice Notes: Illegal working: dealing with a civil penalty and Illegal working: dealing with a criminal allegation.

In addition to civil penalties and criminal sanctions, an employer with a sponsor licence under the Points-Based System (PBS) may have its licence revoked where illegal working has been proven.

The employer may also suffer damage to its reputation, either due to being found to be employing an illegal worker or by failing to allow adequate opportunity to a person they have identified as a potential illegal worker to demonstrate their entitlement to work in the UK.

In order to minimise these risks, employers must ensure that they have thorough processes and procedures in place to check right to work documents of all employees before they start work, and to identify and adequately deal with an illegal worker (or potential illegal worker) before, during and upon termination of employment.

Where a person commences employment on or after 16 May 2014, and presents a document or document combination from List B of the Schedule to the Immigration (Restrictions on Employment) Order 2007 (Restrictions on Employment Order 2007), SI 2007/3290, the employer must carry out a follow-up check on this individual (which in