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Following on from updated Code of Practice on Preventing Illegal Working, on 8 February 2024 the Home Office has published an updated Employer’s Guide to Right to Work Checks.

The updated Guide applies throughout UK to right to work checks conducted on or after 13 February 2024.

The most significant updates (reflecting in part the increased penalties and updated Code) are:

1. Increase to the maximum Civil Penalty for non-compliance with the Right to Work Scheme.

The civil penalty for employers will be raised to £45,000 per illegal worker for a first breach and £60,000 per illegal worker for repeat breaches.

2. Right to Work Checks For EEA Citizens & Non-EEA Family Members Without Lawful Immigration Status

Organisations will have a continuous statutory excuse if for example, EEA citizen provided their valid EU passport or national identity card to prove their right to work prior to 30 June 2021. However if the Organisations then identifies that the EEA citizen / non-EEA family member in workforce has not applied for EUSS (perhaps discovered through audit or retrospective check) and therefore does not hold any other permission the Guide now states:

“If an employer identifies an existing employee who no longer has a right to work, they are required to take the appropriate action. This may include contacting the Home Office for support or taking steps to terminate employment.”

Therefore the 28-day concession to allow late applications to the EU Settlement Scheme has been removed.

3. Annex B (Employment Of Specific Categories of Workers): Supplemental Employment

The Guide also states that the Organisation must take steps to ensure that any worker engaged on supplementary employment meets the requirements by for example asking the worker to provide a letter or other evidence from their main sponsor confirming:
a) They are still working for sponsor;
b) Job description & occupation code of sponsored employment (if supplementary employment not in shortage occupation);
c) Their normal working hours.

The Organisation must also ask the worker if they are doing any other supplementary employment with another employer. This is to ensure the worker is not be doing over 20 hours a week in total of supplementary employment.