Member Article

Are your staff entitled to work in the UK?

by Jill Lee of Business Link

Next month, the Government will take its first steps towards replacing paper-based immigration documents with biometric identity cards. They will be the same size as a credit card and will have an electronic chip that will hold biometric details, such as fingerprints and a digital picture of the person’s face.

Within three years all foreign nationals residing in the UK must have an identity card, which shows name, date of birth, nationality and immigration status, including whether or not they have the right to work in the UK.

If you employ staff from outside the UK, or are planning to, you need to check whether they have the right to work here. To help you check an applicant’s immigration status and documents, including the new identity card, Business Link has launched an interactive tool, which is available at

The tool will identify the documents which a potential employee must show to prove their entitlement to work in the UK and which sections of these documents you must copy and keep. It will also set out an employer’s responsibilities, such as ensuring that the documents supplied relate to the person seeking employment and finding out if they need to register with the Worker Registration Scheme.

The Worker Registration Scheme was introduced in 2004 when new countries joined the European Union.

It enables the Government to monitor where citizens of those countries, except Malta and Cyprus, are coming into the labour market, the type of work they are doing, and the impact this has on the economy.

UK employers need to be aware of their requirements when checking employees’ details to avoid liability for payment of a civil penalty of up to £10,000 and/or up to six months in prison for employing an illegal worker.

Business Link’s substantial team of expert brokers operate across the region in local access points and on a mobile basis. For further information about Business Link visit or call 0845 600 9 006.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by BENE .

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