As an employer, you must carry out the appropriate checks and gather the required documents that show your employee has the right to work in the UK, this is establishing the Statutory Excuse. Failing to do the correct checks could result in a fine of of up to a maximum of £20,000 per illegal worker.
What is Statutory Excuse?
Establishing the Statutory Excuse is a term used when the employer carries out the checks required to verify their employee’s right to work in the UK. 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.
Failing to check an employee's right to work
If it later comes to light that an employer has knowingly employed someone without the right to work in the UK, they will face prosecution under the Race Relations Acts 1976. Committing an offence like this can carry 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 £20,000 per illegal worker.
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.
UK Visas & Immigration
For more advice about employing someone from outside the UK please contact the UK Visa and Immigration office or give HMRC a call on 0300 200 3200.
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