Right to Work Code of Conduct

Right to Work Code of Conduct

14 Mar 2024


Right to Work – Code of Conduct Update February 2024

The Right to Work is a check that legally must be carried out on every potential employee in the UK. The check aims to prevent individuals without lawful immigration status to be employed in the UK. Right to Work checks are the responsibility of the employer to carry out.

In the UK, working illegally is often the main motivation for illegal migration and is an essential element in reducing illegal immigrants journeying to the United Kingdom.

In addition to preventing illegal employment, the Right to Work check seeks to reduce the abusive circumstances that are often connected with the living experience of workers living and working illegally in the UK. These include poor or illegal housing conditions and may also cover modern slavery conditions.

The Right to Work check also seeks to prevent a negative impact on the people that are employed lawfully in the UK.

Right to Work – Employer’s Responsibility

It is the responsibility of the employer to prevent illegal working in the UK under the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 (‘the Act’). This Act came into force on 29 February 2008 and is periodically updated.

Changes to Right to Work Code of Conduct February 2024

The Home Office publishes the Code of Practice. The previous code was issued in March 2022 and this update will be the sixth version of the code and come into force on 13 February 2014.

The changes issued in February 2024 are pertinent to Section 15 of the Act, that allows the Secretary of State to serve an employer with a notice requiring the payment of a penalty. The amount of the financial payment will be specified by the Secretary of State and the penalty will be issued from the 13 February 2014. This is known as the civil penalty and this represents an increase to the current civil penalty levels. This increase has been passed by parliamentary process and will be legally binding from 13 February 2024.

For employers, from 13 February 2024, the civil penalty for employers that illegally employ workers will be raised to £45,000 per illegal worker for a first breach and £60,000 per illegal worker for repeat breaches, with repeated breaches being considered as breaches the occur within 3 years.

  • First Breach – £45,000 per individual worker
  • Repeat Breach (within 3 years) – £60,000 per individual worker

For further information, please visit Gov.uk

What is a right to work check?

A right to work check is a process employers in the UK must follow to confirm an individual’s legal eligibility to be employed. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Purpose: It ensures you’re hiring someone authorised to work in the UK, preventing illegal employment.
  • Who needs it: All new employees, regardless of nationality, require this check.
  • How it works: Employers verify documents proving the employee’s right to work, either through physical documents like passports or online services provided by the government.
  • Failure to comply: Employing someone without a proper check can lead to penalties for the employer.

This system helps regulate the workforce and prevents unauthorised individuals from taking up jobs.

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