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Employers face stiff penalties for right to work breaches

Published on: 7 Mar 2024

Employers face a maximum civil penalty of up to £60,000 per illegal worker, according to updated government guidance on the right to work compliance.

Employers face stiff penalties

The Home Office’s Employer’s guide to right to work checks advises employers how to conduct a right to work check and sets out specific actions they can take to prevent liability for a civil penalty.

It warns that any employer issued with a penalty notice now faces a maximum £45,000 civil penalty for a first breach and a maximum of £60,000 per illegal worker for repeat offences. If an employer finds that a staff member is working illegally, it must terminate the employment and report the breach to the Home Office, it adds.

The guidance applies to right to work checks conducted on or after 13 February to establish or retain a statutory excuse from having to pay a civil penalty for employing a person who is not permitted to work.