Streamlining right to work checks: A payroll perspective

For UK employers, right to work checks are more than just a compliance requirement -they’re a fundamental aspect of ethical employment practices.

These checks, integral to the recruitment process, ensure that all employees are legally entitled to work in the UK.

By diligently conducting these checks, employers uphold the integrity of the UK labour market and help prevent the exploitation of workers.

Employer responsibilities in right to work verification

Right to work is not only about ensuring administrative accuracy but also about reinforcing lawful employment practices.

Employers must be adept at verifying an employee’s right to work status as part of their comprehensive onboarding process.

This attention to detail is crucial in safeguarding the business against the employment of illegal workers and the substantial legal and financial consequences that can follow.

  • Conducting checks: Verifying the right to work of every potential employee before their employment commences is essential. This verification applies universally, regardless of the employee’s nationality or background.
  • Document verification: Employers must refer to a specified list of documents, such as passports, residence permits, and work visas, to validate an employee’s right to work.
  • Record-keeping: Employers need to maintain accurate records of the checks conducted, including copies of relevant documents and the dates of verification.
  • Online verification: For certain employee categories, notably overseas nationals, online right to work checks are mandatory.
  • Adapting to legislative changes: Keeping abreast of changes in legislation or procedures, including any revisions post-Covid-19, is crucial for compliance.

Mitigating risks and penalties

Failure to comply with right to work checks can result in severe penalties, with employers facing civil fines of up to £20,000 per illegal worker.

Regular training and updates on these procedures are recommended to ensure ongoing compliance.

Right to work checks are more than a legal formality – they are part of a broader responsibility to maintain a legally compliant and ethical workforce.

By adhering to these checks, employers contribute significantly to the fairness and integrity of the UK labour market, reinforcing the rights of workers and upholding their legal obligations.

Contact one of our experts to find out how we can help streamline your right to work practices.

Posted in News, Newswire, Payroll.