6. Right to Work & Discrimination

Right to Work and Discrimination
 
Employers have a duty to prevent illegal working in the UK by carrying out document checks on people before employing them to confirm they have a right to work here. 

If an employer only carries them out on people who they believe are not British Citizens, for example, on the basis of the colour of their skin, or ethnic or national origins, they could find themselves accused of discrimination, and it could be used as evidence against them.

Anyone who believes that they have been discriminated against, either directly or indirectly, by an employer, a prospective employer or an employment agency, because of their race may bring a complaint before an Employment Tribunal. If the complaint is upheld, the Tribunal will normally order the payment of compensation, for which there is no upper limit. This is why we recommend that you carry out document checks on ALL prospective workers. 

Carrying out these checks will also provide you with a statutory defence and protect you from liability for a penalty if the person in question is an illegal worker. 

It is important to remember that the population of the UK is ethnically diverse. Many people from ethnic minorities in this country are British Citizens and many non-British Citizens from black and minority ethnic communities are entitled to work here. You must not therefore assume that someone from an ethnic minority is an immigrant, or that someone born abroad or who speaks with a particular accent is not allowed to work in the UK.