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Preventing illegal working

As an employer in Scotland you should conduct a right to work check before having an employee begin work for you. This is to establish a 'statutory excuse' if it transpires the employee does not have the right to work in the United Kingdom (UK).

When recruiting you may receive applications from people who are already in the UK on different types of visas. In certain circumstances it may be possible for them to change their visa.

Who has the right to work in Scotland

As an employer it is important that the person you hire has the legal right to work in the UK and the appropriate documentation and/or visa to prove their eligibility. It is a criminal offence to illegally employ a person who does not have the right to work in the United Kingdom (UK).

You must also take the necessary steps to obtain documentation verifying the person’s eligibility to work in the UK. You should retain this documentation as proof in your employee’s file.

When considering a person’s eligibility to live and work in the UK, immigration law places people into the following basic categories:

  • British and Irish citizens
  • Asyum seekers and refugees
  • All other nationalities

Each category has different rights relating to living and working in the UK.

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