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Right to work checks – are you compliant?

1 August 2016

It has been widely reported that employees from Albania, Brazil, Nepal and Egypt working in the burger chain Byron have been arrested by officers at restaurants where they were working. The Home Office confirmed that Byron had fulfilled its obligations to check employee documents and therefore will not be facing legal action - the employees are alleged to have falsified their documents.

This serves as a reminder to employers to ensure that they have carried out right to work checks by obtaining one or more of the documents contained in the Home Office Guidance, checking these in the presence of the employee, keeping a copy securely and making a diary note for any follow-up checks. These actions will provide a statutory excuse against paying civil penalties. Following the arrests, a wave of protests has arisen on social networks against Byron’s cooperation with the Home Office in setting up an apparent ‘sting’. It will be interesting to see if possible negative publicity will impact employers’ decisions to cooperate in the future.

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