Essential facts for your business: Immigration law & recruitment

Dan Jones, Birketts LLP

Every employer deals with recruitment at some time or another. In the HR Forum on 6th March we will be looking at the obligations that immigration law places on employers to prevent illegal working, and the effect that these obligations should have on your recruitment practices. The aim of this Forum is to demonstrate that all UK employers, regardless of their industry or sector,  should be aware of the requirements they are expected to meet.

We will discuss the responsibilities that the UK Government imposes on all employers, such as ensuring at the point of recruitment that all members of staff have a valid right to live and work in the UK.  We will also look into the civil and criminal penalties for failing to comply with the current requirements, and will put these into context by looking at some recent high profile cases involving, amongst others, Tesco and London Metropolitan University. The Forum will also address how illegal working can reduce or remove an employee's employment rights.

During the Forum we will provide practical, straightforward advice on how to follow up and implement these requirements into your own recruitment policy. By ensuring that the proper checks are carried out on all recruits and employees, you will be typically be able to identify illegal workers at the point of recruitment. Training all staff involved with recruitment to understand the requirements will not only highlight issues at the outset of employment, but will also provide your business with a defence in the event that an employee is later found to be working in the UK illegally.

The consequences of mistakes in this area can be costly. Ensuring you know your obligations and have suitable procedures in place does not require significant time or costs, but will enable you to better protect your business and minimise the risk of employing an illegal worker.

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