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Archive for the ‘workers’ Category

Preventing Illegal Working

In Employment law, government, workers on January 24, 2019 at 11:41 am

Updates to procedures from January 2019

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All employers have a responsibility to prevent illegal working and must therefore carry out ‘right to work checks.’ Businesses can be fined up £20,000 if they are found to have employed an illegal worker and hadn’t followed the checking procedure. Knowingly employing someone without right to work can result in a jail term and unlimited fine.

From 28th January 2019 employers will be able to use the Home Office’s online checking system to determine a prospective employee’s right to work in the UK without the need to receive documents from the individual. This applies to non-EEA nationals who hold a biometric residence permit/card or EEA nationals who have been granted immigration status under the EU Settlement Scheme. EEA nationals without settled status will still need to provide appropriate documentation.

Immigration minister Caroline Nokes called it “another step we are taking to simplify and modernise the immigration system,” and said it would make it easier than ever for migrants to view and prove their right to work in the UK.

When using the online system the employer is required to:

  • Check each applicant and only recruit, or continue to employ, if the online check confirms their right to work
  • Carry out a visual identification using the photo supplied with the online check
  • Retain the result of the check during the individual’s employment and for two years following

If an online check cannot be carried out, the Home Office Employer Checking Service should be contacted and applicants will need to supply the required documents.

Changes will also be made to the checking of UK Nationals in order to accommodate those who do not hold a passport. List A documents allow UK individuals to provide full or short-form certificates alongside an official document containing their National Insurance number.

 

Links:

https://www.gov.uk/employee-immigration-employment-status

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Skills-based immigration system proposed in government White Paper

In government, workers on December 20, 2018 at 1:31 pm

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The Government has released a white paper containing proposals to reduce the number of unskilled low-income workers from EU. However, the cap on the number of skilled workers from the EU and elsewhere will be scrapped.

The new system is to be phased in from 2021.

The White paper, which sets out proposed legislation before it is formalised in a government bill, features the following key points:

  • The end of free movement after the UK leaves the EU.
  • A skills-based single immigration system rather than preference for EU nationals.
  • Time limited short-term workers route: Seasonal/Low skilled/unskilled workers will be able to enter the UK on a 12-month visa. They will not be entitled to benefits, will not accrue settlement rights and cannot bring dependants. The government sees this as a way to source workers for areas such as construction, agriculture and social care which rely heavily on EU labour.
  • Restrictions on the number of ‘Tier 2’ visas for skilled workers such as doctors and engineers are to be lifted.
  • There will be a consultation on the proposal for a minimum salary requirement of £30,000 for skilled migrants applying for five-year visas. This has met with resistance from the NHS where many starting salaries come under the £30,000 wage cap.
  • Measures to streamline border security checks and application processes.
  • No limits on international students studying in the UK.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid described the White Paper as, “a fair and sustainable immigration system” which “will boost our economy and benefit the British people.”

However, Karendeep Kaur, immigration analyst at Migrate UK, expressed concern over the possibility of a no-deal Brexit. Urging businesses to take action to safeguard their talent and protect against skills shortages, she advised employers to identify employees’ current status and support them to acquire a registration certificate or permanent residency where appropriate.

Government announces reforms to protect agency and gig economy workers

In contracts, Employment law, government, workers on December 19, 2018 at 10:12 am

Reforms to employment law are to be introduced which will better protect agency employees, gig economy workers and those on zero-hours contracts.

In response to the findings of the Taylor Review of modern working practices, business secretary Greg Clark will introduce legislation to:

  • close the loophole which allows for agency workers to be paid less than permanent employees
  • ensure all staff are given a statement their rights from the first day of employment, including eligibility for sick and paid leave
  • give the right for employees who don’t have a fixed working pattern to request one once they have completed 26 weeks with an employer
  • increase the maximum fine handed out by employment tribunals to employers who are found to have shown malice, spite or gross oversight from £5000 to £20000
  • extend the holiday pay reference period in order to reflect the work patterns of seasonal staff

The business secretary called the reforms the “largest upgrade in workers’ rights in over a generation” and said that they would be key in building a fair and productive workplace that reflects the reality of modern working practices.

However, there has been some criticism that the reforms don’t go far enough to address underlying issues, and that controversial zero hours contracts haven’t been banned.