Addleshaw Goddard

UK 200 2014 position: 22

New immigration codes of practice

Two new immigration statutory Codes of Practice (replacing previous versions) were released by the government on 16 May 2014: (i) Code of Practice on preventing illegal working: civil penalty scheme for employers; and (ii) Code of Practice for employers on avoiding unlawful discrimination while preventing illegal working. The principles of both Codes are similar to their previous versions; however, employers should be aware of some important changes, especially licensed sponsors under the UK’s points-based immigration system, as non-compliance of the Codes could result in downgrading or even revocation of their licences.

Under immigration legislation, employers face fines if they employ individuals who do not have the right to work in the UK. However, provided an employer can show that they did not know the individual lacked such right, it may be able to rely on the statutory excuse defence — where it has examined and retained copies of the individual’s right to work documents (e.g. an individual’s passport/visa) in accordance with the lists (List A and List B) prescribed by the Home Office. The key changes to the new Code include…

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