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Amy Edwards

Head of Practice Area - Employment


Business immigration

You need to be able to recruit the best staff for your business, and this might be someone from overseas.

There are various obligations on employers to ensure that the people they take on are entitled to work in the UK. Getting this wrong could see you being fined up to £20,000 per illegal worker. Criminal penalties are possible too. You also need to know about your ongoing duties owed towards non-UK nationals and the Home Office which monitors and enforces the engagement of overseas workers.

Our immigration specialists will ensure that you are complying with all rules and regulations and that your procedures relating to employing workers from within or outside the European Economic Area (EEA) are robust. And we’ll guide you through and give you the information you need in the following circumstances:

Non-EEA workers

You may need to apply to UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) to be a sponsor under the Points-Based System. We’ll advise you on the licensing process and on preparing the right paperwork for the UKVI. We’ll also guide you through your ongoing responsibilities and on your relationship with your non-UK workers.

European workers

Nationals of countries within the EEA and Switzerland can live and work in the UK without needing to apply under the UK's Points-Based System. But there are still some restrictions in place which we will be able to advise you on, as well as helping you lawfully recruit and retain your staff without falling foul of discrimination laws. 

Right to work documents  

All employers need to check that all their employees have the right to work in the UK.  We’ll advise you when and how to carry out these checks, and the documents you’ll need to see and retain. If you already employ non-UK workers then you may be interested in our immigration audit service which will examine your processes and your paperwork to make sure that everything is in order.

TUPE transfers

If you are likely to take on new staff when you buy a business under TUPE, then you also need to think about whether or not those new employees have the right to work in the UK. You (as their new employer) will be responsible for ensuring that they’re entitled to work in the UK, so it’s important to understand their status and whether or not you need to be a sponsor. We’ll advise you on the immigration issues in any business transfer agreement, and on the risks and how to minimise them. We’ll also guide you through the duties and responsibilities you’ll inherit once the TUPE transfer has taken place.

Business visits

If your organisation has an overseas branch outside of the EEA then you’ll need to be clear about rules on business visit visas. If a worker is travelling from abroad to attend a meeting, conference or training in the UK, for example, then they may well need permission from the authorities to do so, before they travel. We’ll advise you on the relevant restrictions and timescales for making applications and on ensuring that your business visitors are able to do what they need to do in the UK.

Appealing fines

If you have already been fined by the Home office for employing illegal workers, we can help you appeal the fines.  As the Home Office can fine you up to £20,000 per illegal worker, it is essential that you get the right advice to save your business money.

  • Hazel Robbins
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