The consequences of not completing the necessary checks to ensure an employee has the right to work in the UK can be severe. Employers must stay on the right side of immigration rules, or face hefty fines of up to £20,000 per employee. To avoid this, employers should perform background checks to ensure candidates are legally authorized to perform certain functions. This includes verifying the right to work through manual document verification and obtaining a unique 9-character “participation code” from the employee.
Additionally, employers should use the Employment Checking Service (ECS) to ask the Ministry of the Interior to check a person's immigration status. All checks on documents must be done using the online system. If employers fail to check employees' right to work documents, they can be fined up to £20,000 per employee. However, there is a defense if you can show that you have performed certain document checks. This includes confirming that there are no restrictions on the type of work the person can perform and that they are authorized to do so.
Employers must also ensure that their Identity Verification and Document Checking (IDVT) is certified to the required standards and provide appropriate training and guidance. It is important for employers to understand their positive obligation to prevent illegal work and any employment rights owed to the employee. Regardless of how an organization carries out its tests, the desired result should be the appointment of a candidate who qualifies to work in the United Kingdom and a record of the tests that demonstrate this.