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New guidelines for employers from the UK Border Agency

If the domestic staff you employ are from overseas then a new crackdown by the UK Border Agency on illegal workers may well have an impact on you.

Employers are to be held responsible for checking availability, currency and appropriateness of visas in respect of work being undertaken and the employer is to be held directly responsible for any failure to check them, with substantial fines and the threat of criminal prosecution.

Under the UK Border Agency’s new guidelines, they expect nothing less than full compliance.

Foreign students are a particular target area, as many have been found to be working outside of their permitted 20 hours per week during term time.  It is worth remembering that there have been recent examples of so called  foreign “students”  merely using that status as a cover for working illegally.

The potential fine for the employer is £10,000 for each illegal worker, with criminal
prosecution also a possibility.

So it is important to ensure that all of your employees have the right to work in the UK and that you comply with any restrictions.  A potential employee’s documents should be checked before they are employed.  If a person has a time limit on their right to work, then the document check should be repeated at least every 12 months.  Where there are restrictions as to the type of work that a person may do or the number of hours they may work, these work conditions must not be breached.  The UK Border Agency website provides detailed guidance for employers.

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