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Case Study

Who was the organisation?

We were instructed by a Premier League Football Club after it was issued with a civil penalty by the Home Office having been found to be employing an illegal worker.

How did we help?

We worked with the organisation to gather all of the facts regarding the recruitment and employment of the individual in question.  We reviewed all of the right to work check documents held for the individual and the organisation’s practices and procedures.

It was apparent that the Home Office was not satisfied that the check had been carried out before the individual’s employment begun as it appeared to have been done on their first day of work.

We prepared a detailed witness statement for the member of staff who had carried out the right to work check explaining the sequence of events that took place in relation to this individual and sought to clearly explain the timings of the check in order to satisfy the Home Office that whilst the check had taken place on the first day of work, it was before the individual’s contracted start time.

We also delivered a training session for all managers involved in carrying out right to work checks, along with the HR and recruitment teams to refresh their knowledge in the area.  The organisation’s right to work policy, flowchart and guidance for managers was also updated by us to ensure they were best placed to avoid any civil penalties in the future.

We then prepared a robust application and supporting documents for the Home Office objecting to the civil penalty on the grounds that an adequate right to work check had been carried out giving the organisation the ‘statutory excuse’ and avoiding liability.

The result:

Following receipt of our additional information the Home Office was satisfied that right to work check had taken place before the employment began which meant that the civil penalty notice was withdrawn and the organisation was not required to pay the hefty fine.

Read more about this and other questions in our

Right to work checks and civil penalties section.


Given the fast pace of change, we would stress that this information is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

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