Changes to right to work checks and fines from May 2014

26 July 2014
Changes to right to work checks and fines from May 2014

From 16 May 2014, changes to right to work checks take effect, under the Home Office's new Code of Practice. These apply to initial checks and repeat checks required from 16 May 2014.

Also, the maximum penalty for employing a person not entitled to work in the UK, increases from 10,000 to 20,000.

In summary the changes mean:

  • Employees with a time-limited right to work in the UK no longer require annual checks.
  • Checks only need to be conducted in anticipation of a worker's visa or work permit expiring.
  • Fewer documents may be used to evidence the right to work in the UK. The new lists of documents are provided below in Annex A of an employer's guide to right to work checks.
  • Employers have double the time to check an individual's right to work in the UK, following a TUPE transfer. This has been increased from 28 to 60 days.


As a result, employers may need to:

  • Update their processes for checking right to work to remove the need for annual checks on fixed term visas and ensure that relevant education information is obtained from students - see Annex B of an employer's guide to right to work checks.
  • Update their recruitment guidance to reflect the documents that now may be used to evidence right to work in the UK.


To support the changes, the Home Office has produced a range of guidance including:

  • Acceptable right to work documents: an employers guide
  • An employer's guide to right to work checks
  • Code of practice on preventing illegal working
  • Code of practice for employers: avoiding unlawful discrimination while preventing illegal working


For further information, see the right to work section of HRBird.

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