From 29th February 2008, under the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, employers are required to carry out additional checks to ensure that new employees can work legally in the UK. These checks must be made before the employee starts work.
Under the rules, employers must check certain documents for every potential new employee. If a potential employee cannot provide suitable documents (and therefore is unable to show that he/she has an entitlement to work in the UK), the person must not be employed. An employer who employs someone who does not have the right to work in the UK will be liable to pay a penalty of up to £10,000 per illegal worker. In addition, employees who have time-limited entitlements to work in the UK must be checked every 12 months.
From 27th November 2008 employers must register with the Borders Agency as a licensed sponsor if they want to employ a new skilled worker from outside the EEA or Switzerland. Registration as a sponsor is also required before any existing migrant worker's work permit can be changed, extended or renewed.
Subscribers to the members section of the FPM website can access more details about the rules in the HR / employment law guidance area. If you are not a member, have a look at the information about the benefits of membership and how to subscribe.