Employing Foreign Nationals
Obligations of an Employer When Employing Foreign Nationals
If you are thinking about employing foreign nationals, there are pros and cons that you should consider to make sure that you get the best out of your new employees, and that you make the right decision for your business. It is also vital that you keep up to date with current legislation, as it is a criminal offence to employ someone who is not entitled to work in the UK. Before hiring, the employer should ensure you check the status’ of all applicants during the recruitment process.
Checking Suitability for Recruitment
As an employer you must ensure that you are compliant with the rules and regulations set at the time of your application. You must check that the employees you are going to employ are entitled to work in the UK, as it is an offence to employ someone aged 16 or over, or who does not have the right to work in the UK, or the right to do the type of work that you are offering, under the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006.
It may sometimes happen that your successful applicant, a foreign national, may not have permission to work in the UK. In such an eventuality, then you can sponsor a prospective employee as an alternative to help them getting the necessary permission to work in the UK.
If an employer knowingly hires illegal workers (this includes students with expired visas, and those who are only on a visitor’s visa), they are in breach of the law, and may be liable to receive a penalty fine of up to £20,000 per worker (this increased from £10,000 on 6th April 2014), and may also receive a jail sentence of up to two years. In case the employers are able to prove that they had completed all the formalities and had asked for and copied all the necessary documents from the employee, the law gives employers a statutory defence against conviction for employing an illegal worker.