Practice owners who are not on top of their recruitment documentation are in danger of paying thousands of pounds in fines to the UK Border Agency (UKBA).
Under the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 an employer is required to ask a prospective employee for documentary evidence of their right to work in the UK before they are hired.
Any practice owner who can’t prove to the UKBA that this step has been taken risks a maximum penalty of £10,000.
The UKBA has far-reaching responsibilities for securing the UK border and controlling migration in the UK.
The agency upholds the law on preventing illegal migrant working and expects practice owners to check that their staff are entitled to paid employment in the UK.
However, when hiring new staff for your practice it is not always obvious which documents you can or can’t request.
This confusion is compounded when the format of what is required keeps changing.
To help employers, the UKBA has updated its guidance on the checks that must be made for all workers during the recruitment process.
The document is free to download and has 83 pages of excellent, easy-to-follow reference material that covers all aspects of the checking procedure.
There are examples of documentation that you can accept as well as images of any documents, stamps and endorsements that an applicant may present to you as evidence.
There is a dedicated UKBA helpline for employers with specific questions: 0300 123 4699, or you can view the UKBA’s guidance at www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk.
Take the time to ensure that your recruitment administration is in order and up-to-date with no documentation gaps, to avoid unnecessary and expensive repercussions later on.