Navigating New Right to Work Checks in Construction
As a leading construction payroll company, we understand the critical importance of compliance with Home Office regulations regarding the right to work checks. With 2024 bringing significant changes in these regulations, it’s essential for construction businesses to be vigilant and up-to-date to avoid hefty fines.
What’s Changing in Right to Work Checks?
The Home Secretary has announced a steep increase in civil penalties for employing illegal workers. Starting from 2024, fines for a first offence will rise from £15,000 to £45,000, and for subsequent breaches, from £20,000 to £60,000. This increase reflects the government’s commitment to combating illegal migration and labour exploitation. Approximately 5,000 civil penalties, amounting to £88.4 million, have been issued since 2018, underscoring the seriousness of this issue.
Our Role as a Payroll Company
In the construction industry, right to work checks have typically been the responsibility of recruitment departments or managers. However, the complexity and nuances of these checks often lead to errors and potential fines. As your payroll partner, we are positioned to assist in ensuring that these checks are conducted thoroughly and accurately. Our expertise in regulatory compliance can be a vital asset in navigating these changes.
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Common Mistakes and How We Can Help
Keeping HR Processes Updated: The Home Office frequently updates its guidance documents without announcement. EEBS are always on your side, and as soon as we have the news, we’ll share it with you.
Understanding Document Validity: Biometric residence permits and similar documents are often misconstrued as valid proof of right to work. Our team can provide clarity and guidance on acceptable documents and the necessity of using the Home Office’s online right to work checking service.
Recording Check Dates: Failing to record the date of the right to work check is a common oversight. We can help implement processes to ensure all necessary documentation is accurately recorded and maintained.
Managing Student and Tier 4 Visa Holders: It’s crucial to be aware of the restrictions on student workers, including holding term dates and confirming their study status. We can assist you in tracking these requirements to ensure compliance.
Post-Graduation Employment: Understanding the nuances of when a student visa holder can work full time after graduation is critical. We can provide guidance to ensure your business is not inadvertently non-compliant.
If you’re concerned about your own set-up, EEBS can carry out a free audit of your business. Get in touch with us today.