Collection

Employers: illegal working penalties

Information to help employers prevent illegal working and understand the fines (civil penalties) they face when they employ illegal workers.

Check how the Home Office can help you if a prospective tenant is a Commonwealth citizen (known as ‘Windrush’ cases) who has the legal right to live in the UK but does not have the documents to prove it.

This collection includes documents about preventing illegal working and illegal working penalties for employers. It includes:

  • guidance on preventing illegal working
  • codes of practice for civil penalties and avoiding discrimination
  • lists of employers that have been fined
  • policy for publishing employers’ details

Check if someone can work in the UK using our quick answer tool.

If you’re reasonably satisfied that the worker has an outstanding application with the Home Office that was made before their previous leave expired or has an outstanding administrative review or appeal against a Home Office decision, you can get a Positive Verification Notice which confirms their right to work from the Employer Checking Service.

Guidance and codes of practice

  1. Carry out a right to work check: a 3 step guide

    • Guidance
  2. Right to work checklist

    • Guidance
  3. Right to work checks: an employer's guide

    • Guidance
  4. Acceptable right to work documents: an employer's guide

    • Guidance
  5. Preventing illegal working: frequently asked questions

    • Guidance
  6. Civil penalty scheme for illegal working: code of practice

    • Guidance
  7. Avoiding discrimination while preventing illegal working: code of practice

    • Guidance
  8. Illegal working civil penalties: an employer's guide

    • Guidance
  9. Illegal working guidance for employers: Croatian nationals

    • Guidance
  10. Employer civil penalties code of practice: Croatian nationals

    • Guidance
  11. Preventing illegal working: guidance for employers, October 2013

    • Guidance
  12. Preventing illegal working: code of practice, 2008

    • Guidance
  13. Avoiding discrimination while preventing illegal working: code of practice, 2008

    • Guidance
  14. Avoiding civil penalties: statutory excuse checksheet

    • Guidance
  15. Undocumented Commonwealth citizens resident in the UK

    • Guidance

Penalties

Published 22 January 2014
Last updated 25 April 2018 + show all updates
  1. Added a link to new guidance for employers conducting right to work checks on undocumented Commonwealth citizens.
  2. Updated illegal working penalties guidance.
  3. Updated illegal working penalties guidance.
  4. Updated guidance
  5. added link to new online employer checking service form
  6. New guidance added to collection
  7. Added Statutory Excuse Checksheet
  8. First published.