20 / 8 / 2013 10.06am
In July the Home Office published a consultation on measures to reform the civil penalty scheme to prevent illegal working. Included are proposed measures that will have an impact on the right to work checks you conduct as part of your employment checking processes.
There have been signals for some time that the Government intends to take tougher action against employers of illegal migrant workers, this consultation follows an announcement by the Prime Minister in his immigration speech on 25th March about a tougher approach.
NHS Employers' response
In our role representing employers on migration issues, we are keen to ensure the ongoing success of a migration system which enhances the ability of healthcare providers to recruit highly skilled healthcare professionals who can help to deliver high quality and compassionate patient care. We are also committed to helping the Home Office change and strengthen processes, that are proportionate to risk, to reduce the possibility of employing illegal migrants.
The NHS Employers organisation's submission has been shaped by working with employers in the NHS. Read our full response.
Summary of proposed changes
You already have a responsibility to check that your employees have the right to work in the UK, and, since 2008, this has been underpinned by a civil penalty scheme. The Home Office are proposing to further refine these requirements to get tougher on employers who continue to exploit illegal migrant workers. In parallel, there are a number of proposed measures to reduce the administrative burden of complying with the requirements to make checks.
In summary, the proposals in the consultation cover:
- increasing the size of the maximum civil penalty
- simplifying the way in which civil penalties are calculated
- improving the recovery of unpaid civil penalties
- reducing the range of acceptable documents for checking purposes
- removing annual follow-up checks on employees with time-limited permission to work in the UK.
The last two measures will impact on the operational process of conducting right to work checks. The full consultation documentation remains available to download from the Home office website.
A summary of responses to the consultation is expected to be published by the Home Office shortly. We will keep employers informed of the outcomes through the workforce bulletin.