Checking Eligibility to work in the UK – why it’s so important!

A key element of the 121 HR Solutions annual business review, is supporting clients in ensuring that the correct documentation is held, to evidence that an employee is permitted to work in the UK.

An employee who is not a UK citizen is likely to have a work permit or will be able to provide an employer with a share code to allow the employer to confirm their eligibility to work in the UK. In a recent check, it was found that an employee whose passport was held on file by the employer, was actually from the Netherlands. 121 HR Solutions advised the client to speak to the employee and establish if they had applied for leave to remain when required to do so.  On checking, this had not been done. There was an immediate concern that the employee therefore did not have eligibility to work in the UK. However a further, more detailed check with the employee determined that they were in fact a UK citizen and they were able to provide details from the Netherlands’ embassy to evidence their eligibility to work in the UK. However, had these checks not been carried out, potentially the business had allowed an employee to work without having carried out the necessary due diligence regarding their eligibility to do so. 

Our client commented that a little panic had initially set in when they discovered the foreign passport and that they were reassured by being able to seek immediate advice from 121 HR Solutions to determine what to do next. They commented that “121 HR Solution’s unlimited telephone support access is an invaluable part of the HR Business Partnership service – and having an objective and knowledgeable consultant to contact is most reassuring”.

Don’t forget that from 2024, fines will triple for employers who employ illegal workers. Fines for first time offenders will rise from  £15,000 to £45,000 and repeat offenders will face fines rising from £20,000 to £60,000. If you are concerned about your checks, contact 121 HR Solutions on 0800 9995 121 for advice!

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