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Because of the increase in workers from abroad, a handful of my clients are concerned that they might not be doing the rights checks and are worried that they may be penalised for employing illegal workers. At the same time they are also scared that they might be accused of racism for asking. What action should they be taking to protect themselves? - Crowther Image

The Government has recently taken further steps in order to reduce the risk of illegal working taking place in businesses across the UK. One of the measures it has implemented is an increase to the financial penalty applied for employing an illegal worker which is now £20,000 for each illegal worker and also if you knowingly employ an illegal, you could also face up to 2 years imprisonment.

All em0ployers should be checking every single employee, that means even someone you think is British and believe was born in the UK. If you are just checking employees that have a different colour skin, accent or foreign sounding name, then that itself can be classed as discrimination.

The Government has published a list of documents which are considered suitable to prove that an individual is eligible to work in the UK. This should form part of your receruitment process and will be your paper trail should you be accused on employing an illegal worker.

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