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Avoiding unlawful discrimination while preventing illegal working

Posted on April 30th 2014

The Home Office has published a draft Code of practice for employers on the above issue, which incorporates comments from the Equality and Human Rights Commission and replaces previous guidance. It gives direction on how employers can avoid race discrimination when complying with the duty to carry out pre-employment immigration checks.

As an employer you have a duty to prevent individuals working illegally in the UK. You should carry out checks to ensure that they have the right to work in the UK before they commence employment.

You could be accused of discrimination if you only carry out checks on individuals who you believe are not British citizens simply on the basis of their ethnic origins, foreign accents or their colour.

If you, as an employer, either directly or indirectly discriminate against someone, they may issue a claim in the Employment Tribunal. If the claim is upheld, the Tribunal will normally order you to pay compensation. It is important to note that there is no upper limit on the compensation.

If you are an employer and would like to discuss the correct way to approach this obligation, in order to minimise the risk of a discrimination claim, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Tim Polding on 01244 354 697 or tim.polding@oliverandco.co.uk

John Loney on 01244 354 667 or john.loney@oliverandco.co.uk

Juana Hunter on 01244 354 762 or juana.hunter@oliverandco.co.uk

Call and speak to a lawyer on 01244 312306