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New guidance published for employers conducting right to work checks

22 September 2017

In August we also saw the publication of amended Home Office guidance for employers conducting right to work checks. Here are some of the highlights:

  • The guidance now states that employers should check the right to work documents of contractors they have working for them and they might wish to check the right to work documents of those who are self employed. Note though that this requirement is currently not mandatory and it is not clear from the guidance what penalty, if any, there would be if you fail to carry out these checks.
  • The guidance stresses the importance that employers carry out another right to work check of the biometric residence permit when an employee presents a 30-day vignette.
  • The guidance helpfully clarifies that direct non-EEA family members of EEA nationals might have the right to work in the UK, without holding documentation on List A or B. The guidance suggests documentation that the employer can request to verify a non-EEA family member’s right to work, including ID for the non-EEA national, evidence of their relationship with the EEA national and evidence of the EEA national exercising treaty rights in the UK. However the guidance warns that an employer does not establish a statutory defence to civil penalty if they do not have the required List A or B documents.
  • The guidance clarifies that although volunteering is generally allowed where someone has immigration permission, voluntary work is not. If the relevant organisation has an obligation to provide work to the individual and or the individual is remunerated, e.g. through benefits in kind, the activity is likely to be categorised as voluntary work. If in doubt please contact us!
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