28 January 2016

The NHBF is reminding salons of the importance of carrying out “right-to-work” checks on new employees, to make sure they are legally allowed to work in the UK.

Employers have been required to carry out such checks on prospective employees since 2008, or face a penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal employee employed.

Although there is still a long way to go before the government’s new Immigration Bill becomes law, it is expected to introduce even tougher penalties for those who ‘persistently employ illegal immigrants as a source of cheap labour’, including the risk of a jail sentence and a business being shut down for up to 48 hours while an investigation is carried out.

The sorts of checks employers need to carry out include ensuring documents given to them are genuine and unaltered, that photographs look the same (and are actually of the applicant), that birth dates and ages tally, that the person can show evidence they have permission to do the work they’re applying for, and that their right to work in the UK has not expired.

Hilary Hall, NHBF chief executive said:

Employers must not refuse to employ someone just because of their race or nationality and they cannot make assumptions about the applicant’s right to work in the UK. To avoid any possible claims of discrimination, employers should have a process for “right-to-work” checks which apply to all potential employees. 

NHBF president Paul Curry added: “Immigration is a very hot topic right now across Europe and the government has signalled its continuing focus on stamping out illegal immigration. So make sure you do the “right-to-work” checks and avoid risking heavy penalties.”