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Preventing illegal working

Employing someone who is not allowed to work in the UK is an offence under UK employment law and every employer has a duty to prevent any illegal employment by carrying out simple checks prior to commencement of employment.  To prevent from receiving a civil penalty or custodial sentence you should:


Note: If you do not carry out these checks and are found employing an illegal worker, the Home Office will take tough action against you. You would be fined up to £10,000 for each illegal worker, or face up to 2 years in prison.


The overwhelming majority of employers and migrants to the UK are law-abiding and want to comply with their legal obligations. The Home Office are keen to support them and make this as simple as possible.


When checking a migrant papers, there are 4 stages which could affect whether the migrant is legal in the UK, they are:


When carrying out any immigration check, employers need to be sensitive and avoid any undue tension or claims of race discrimination.  It is always easier to carry out checks before someone is employed as these checks are done at the interview processing stages, whereas asking migrant staff who are already employed in your business to provide evidence that they are legal may offend some employees.  To try and avoid such issues, global 4 Immigration (G4I) has ways to carry out such an audit and to explain to migrants if they ask why we are doing such an audit.  G4I always puts the migrants first and as part of this we provide each migrant a route planner if they need to extend, switch or apply for settlement or citizenship in the future.  In many cases the migrant workers will not have anyone to provide them with free initial advice so this is added value the employer is giving their migrant staff.


How best to prevent Illegal Employment?

Once G4I has carried out a full audit and verified all employees are legally permitted to work, G4I would put in place our Traffic Light System (GTLS).


How does GTLS work?

GTLS works in these phases;

  1. If the candidate is an EU national, the employee can automatically employ that person.  That employee is given a green light; or
  2. If the candidate is a non EU or Bulgarian or Romanian national, the employer would email the candidates documents to G4I to verify.  The candidate is now at amber stage until G4I can verify the candidate documents;
  3. If G4I approves the candidates documents then the green light applies, however if G4I needs more information the candidate stays on amber;
  4. If G4I finds that the candidate documents are not in order, the candidate goes to red. G4I will explain to the employer and candidate what needs to be done to get their paper in order and what actions the employer must do to prevent being caught and being issued with a civil penalty/custodial sentence.

Illegal Employment

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