Employing Non-EU Workers: Right to Work Checks Update

Since March this year, the Home Office have begun to roll out Biometric Residence Permits (“BRP’s”) to migrants overseas granted permission to enter the UK for more than six months, replacing the UK visa. The phase ends on 31 July 2015. The new change means that employers may have to carry out ‘second right to work checks’ on their employees.

Right to Work Checks: Biometric Residence Permit

The Biometric Residence Permit (or BRP as it is commonly known) is proof of the holder’s right to stay, work or study in the UK. It can also be used as a form of identification.

By 31 July 2015, any migrant applying for, and then granted, more than six months’ leave from overseas will be issued with a vignette (sticker) in their passport which will be valid for thirty days to enable them to travel to the UK.

Following their arrival, they will have 10 days to collect their BRP from the Post Office branch detailed in their decision letter. For most migrants granted permission to be in the UK, the BRP will be the document that proves they have permission to work in the UK.

If a migrant does not travel to the UK within the 30 day period, then they will need to apply and pay for another 30 day vignette.

Employer ‘Second’ Right to Work Check

If you are an employer and your employee wishes to start work upon their arrival in the UK (i.e within 10 days), they will need to show you their validity vignette in their passport which they used to travel to the UK. You will then need to conduct a full right to work check on the basis of this vignette, which must be valid at the time of the check.

However, as the vignette will expire 30 days from issue, you will then have to repeat the check using the BRP to ensure that you have carried out the relevant check.

Under UK’s current Immigration Rules, an employer may be liable for a civil penalty if they employ someone who does not have the right to undertake the work in question. The Home Office expect employers to take their duty to prevent illegal working in the UK seriously and require employers to carry out prescribed document checks on people before employing them to ensure that they are lawfully allowed to work.

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