control panel
Employers: Preventing illegal working in the UK – updated guidance

07 June 2012

We have launched updated guidance for employers on preventing 'illegal working' to help them check if someone has a right to work.

The guidance has been completely revised to make it easier to read and provides information on which documents are acceptable when proving a right to work and help in understanding what is expected of them in making the checks.

Employers who do not carry out these checks and are found employing workers illegally could be fined £10,000 for each illegal worker or face up to 2 years in prison.


The guidance available on this website includes the following changes:

  • More information relating to biometric residence permits, specifically to those that show a holder has indefinite leave to stay in the UK
  • Information on the various work restrictions placed on students from outside the European Economic Area (EEA)
  • The impact of fines when applying for a sponsor licence or on licensed sponsors
  • Best practice recommendations when carrying out document checks

This guidance also sees information relating to certain European nationals moved to the guidance on employing EEA nationals, as restrictions no longer apply. It also contains more detailed information on employing Romanian and Bulgarian nationals.

Further information and important updates on preventing illegal working can be found on this website.