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People

Right To Work

Ensuring a legitimate, safe workforce, preventing illegal working and avoiding disruption, reputational damage and heavy fines

Getting to grips with Right to Work

Right To Work Guidance

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Ensuring that people are working in the UK legally is firmly in the spotlight with employers large and small. Every employer must check their own employees’ right to work in the UK.

The built environment is a high-risk sector for illegal working. There is a huge demand for labour, a severe skills shortage and self-employment is common. Employing people without doing the correct checks or employing illegal workers could be seen as a short-term fix to these challenges, but the potential negative impacts highlighted by the Home Office below, far outweigh any perceived benefit.

The ability to work illegally is a key driver of illegal migration. It leaves people vulnerable to exploitation and results in unscrupulous employers undercutting compliant businesses. It can also negatively impact on the wages of lawful workers and is linked to other labour market abuse such as tax evasion, breach of the national minimum wage and exploitative working conditions, including modern slavery in the most serious cases.

Source: The Home Office

Checking a job applicant’s right to work is a legal requirement. Completing the Government checklist is the obvious starting point, but do your employees understand why they’re doing the checks (aside from legal compliance) and the potential negative impacts illegal working can cause?

According to the Home Office, “Illegal working often results in abusive and exploitative behaviour, the mistreatment of illegal migrant workers, tax evasion and poor housing conditions. It can also undercut legitimate businesses and have an adverse impact on the employment of people who are lawfully in the UK”.

“21% of workers advised that they had not been required to present recognised right to work documentation”
Achilles Ethical Employment Trends report – compiled using anonymous data from 1,368 confidential worker interviews on construction projects.
read the report

Key Right To Work Resources

Employment

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