When hiring foreign employees in the UK, companies must ensure that individuals lacking legal immigration status do not engage in any form of work.
Illegal work fuels unauthorized migration, leading to law-breaking and providing a way for migrants to stay unlawfully.
This can cause exploitation, tax evasion, and bad living conditions, including modern slavery. That’s why all companies must remain committed to ensuring modern slavery does not take place anywhere in the business. Plus, unauthorised employment hurts legal businesses and affects the jobs of those in the UK legally.
To prevent illegal work, employers must conduct basic checks on every foreign worker they intend to hire.
How UK Employers Can Prevent Illegal Migration
The UK takes a steadfast stance against unauthorized migration, and businesses play a pivotal role in upholding the law.
That’s why all employers have the responsibility to contribute to the prevention of illegal migration when hiring foreign workers. This can be done by checking and copying original documentation for all new employees.
The law requires you to carry out these checks indiscriminately on all prospective workers, regardless of their nationality.
Do note that you must complete these checks before employment commences. You also have the responsibility to re-check employees with time-limited immigration status.
Hiring Foreign Employees: Check You Must Make on Candidates
As part of the international hiring process, you must complete the following checks:
- Verification of right to work in the UK – Prior to extending an offer of employment, you must validate a candidate’s right to work in the UK. Failing to do so can result in fines of up to £20,000. More information on how to check an applicant’s right to work can be found here.
- Criminal background checks – You can request a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for your prospective employee. Roles in healthcare or childcare may require a more detailed examination. However, you must be aware that rejecting a candidate based solely on spent convictions is legally prohibited.
- Health assessments – These checks may be indispensable for legal or role-specific requirements. For example, roles involving commercial vehicle driving might necessitate eye tests. You should transparently communicate any obligatory health assessments in the offer letter. This helps you ensure that the process remains non-discriminatory.
Additionally, the handling of information on candidates must strictly adhere to data protection rules. You must exercise meticulous care in safeguarding sensitive data to ensure secure handling and storage.
Caring out these checks and ensuring data protection not only guarantees compliance with current laws but also contributes to cultivating a fair and unbiased hiring process.
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