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Employers could face prosecution under the Race Relations Act 1976 and an unlimited fine if they do not carry out the required checks and keep copies of the required documents. This known as establishing the Statutory Excuse.

What is Statutory Excuse?

  • It is illegal to employ someone who does not have the right to work in the UK, or who has not been granted leave to enter or remain in the country.
  • In 2008, the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 introduced on-the-spot civil penalties on employers who have carelessly employed illegal workers.
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What are the consquences for failing to check the employee's right to work?

  • Employers who knowingly employ someone without the right to work in the UK are committing an offence that carries a penalty of up to two years in prison and/or an unlimited fine
  • Failing to establish the Statutory Excuse by not carrying out the checks also carries a punitive penalty of up to £10,000 per illegal worker.

Employing Europeans

Nationals from the European Economic Area (EEA) can enter and work in the UK without restrictions.

The following is a list of EEA countries:

  • Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, UK, Switzerland.
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How can Nannytax help?

After subscribing our clients will have access to a comprehensive Employment Guide where we cover the Statutory Excuse and employing from overseas in more details.



UK Visas & Immigration

For more advice about employing someone from outside the UK please contact the UK Visa and Immigration office:

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