EU growth leads to new staff checks

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Employment, European union, Passport, Home office

We will very shortly enter a new phase of checking and recording information on foreign nationals working in pubs. From 1 May, the law on your duties...

We will very shortly enter a new phase of checking and recording information on foreign nationals working in pubs. From 1 May, the law on your duties as an employer of such workers, even part-timers, has been tightened up. You can face a fine of up to £5,000 if convicted of employing someone who wasn't entitled to work in the UK. The reason for the changes is that next month 10 new countries will join the European Union and their nationals will thus be entitled to move around in search of work. Most of them (except those from Cyprus or Malta) will be required to register with the Home Office under the new Workers' Registration Scheme. The new rules apply only to people you employ after 30 April. If you think that they are from one of the new countries, you must follow the procedures in section 8 of the Asylum & Immigration Act 1996. Ask them for their passport or national ID card and check the details. You should also make a photocopy of the relevant parts of the document which give their personal details. Don't accept excuses or reasons why they don't have documentation. If you employ them in spite of this, you can be prosecuted. This is a classic example of "due diligence". You will haveto prove that you saw and copied relevant documents that you thought were genuine beforeyou employed the applicant. The Government is at pains to avoid claims of racial discrimination in all this, but there could be a number of examples if you do not set up a proper system of asking for the same type of evidence from every applicant. Free help on the new rules is available on the employers' helpline, 0845 010 6677, from next month, or, from this week, from the Home Office website, www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk.

Related topics: Training

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