Migrant Workers

As more and more businesses are employing migrant workers to supplement their workforce, it is important that you are aware of the rules to avoid getting a hefty fine.

Things you need to know:

You must gain proof from ALL potential employees (including British nationals) of their right to work in the UK, and keep evidence in their personnel files. See list of acceptable documents

Nationals from the following countries have full freedom to work in the UK:
Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom

Nationals from the following countries require a Worker Registration Certificate which must be applied for within 30 days of commencing employment
Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia.

Nationals from Romania and Bulgaria
Need authorisation before starting work.

National Insurance Number (NINO)
You can employ a migrant worker who does not have a NINO, but they must apply straight away and can do so through Jobcentre Plus or for more information, contact the NINO Helpline - 0845 0106677 or visit website 

Failure to comply can result in a £5,000 fine per worker.

Other useful contacts include:

Work permit enquiries - 0114 259 4074
Public enquiry office - 0151 237 0473 0405
Employers Helpline - 0845 010 6677

Non EU Workers

The first part of the Immigration Points Based System (PBS) went live on 29th February 2008.

The PBS is a method of deciding whether your applicant qualifies to come to work, train or study in the United Kingdom under a five tier system. To qualify, they must earn a certain number of points in various categories.

Tier 1: Highly skilled individuals to contribute to growth and productivity
Tier 2: Skilled workers with a job offer to fill gaps in the United Kingdom workforce
Tier 3: Limited numbers of low skilled workers needed to fill temporary labour shortages
Tier 4: Students
Tier 5: Youth mobility and temporary workers: people allowed to work in the United Kingdom for a limited period of time to satisfy primarily non-economic objectives.

Employers have to register for a certificate of sponsorship which will enable them to produce their own work permits once applicants have met the relevant criteria. Applicants will still require a Visa.

For more information see visit Home Office website

The Employers Helpline 0845 010 6677

Practical support for your migrant employee

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