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McGill & Co is a Scottish immigration law firm specialising in UK immigration, nationality and refugee law.

Changes to Illegal Working Penalties: codes of practice for employers, 2018

13 December 2018 James Ritchie Changes to Immigration

mcgill blogOn Thursday, the latest Code of practice for employers on illegal working penalties has been published by the Home Office.

The Code updates the earlier issue of May 2014, to reflect the Immigration (Restrictions on Employment) (Code of Practice and Miscellaneous Amendments) Order 2018, which provides that employers may establish a statutory excuse against liability for an illegal working civil penalty by conducting an online right to work check using the Home Office online right to work checking service.

This update should make it considerably easier for lawful residents to demonstrate their right to work in the UK.

This Code applies:

  • when calculating the penalty amount; in respect of any employment which commenced on or after 29 February 2008 where the breach of section 15 of the Act occurred on or after 28 January 2019; or
  • when determining liability; where an initial check on a potential employee, or a repeat check on an existing employee, is required on or after 28 January 2019 in order to establish or retain a statutory excuse.

It is worth bearing in mid that any employment commenced on or after 29 February 2008 and where the breach occurred on or after 16 May 2014 and before 28 January 2019, the Code published in May 2014 applies.

Further, when the employment commenced on or after 29 February 2008 and the breach occurred before 16 May 2014, the Code published in February 2008 applies.

This Code applies to employers who employ staff under a contract of employment (a contract of service or apprenticeship), whether express or implied and whether oral or in writing. It does not apply to those who undertake work for you who do not fall within these categories.

If you are in full-time employment in the UK and would like more information tailored to your situation, we offer consultations to provide advice and assistance on the best course of action to take to secure your place in the UK, please fill out our online enquiry form.


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