Every company and employer in the UK has a legal obligation not to permit illegal working. Your company's HR must set up effective systems to ensure that your business does not employ people with no right to work in the UK. We strongly recommend all employers to conduct a right to work check on potential employees, regardless of their nationality and before their employment commences. This will enable your business to avoid potential consequences of employing illegal immigrants, which may be:
1. Civil penalty - you may be required to pay a civil penalty (fine) of up to £20,000 for each illegal worker;
2. Criminal penalty - you may be sent to jail for 5 years and pay an unlimited fine if you are found guilty of employing someone who you knew or had 'reasonable cause to believe' did not have the right to work in the UK.