Contractors' Questions: Why's my passport needed to extend?

Contractor’s Question: My recruiter claims that a recent piece of legislation means I must provide a copy of my passport to prove I am eligible to work in the UK.

This is even though I am operating under my own limited company and this legal expert in this ContractorUK article says a passport is NOT required as a limited company worker.

Also, it’s not a new contract -- it’s an ongoing contract I’m trying to renew, but they still insist they are not able to provide the paperwork without my passport. Is the agency lying?

Expert’s Answer: It is unlawful for an employer to employ someone who does not have the right to reside and the appropriate right to work in the UK or who is working in breach of their conditions of stay.

To comply with their obligation to prevent illegal working, an employer must:

  • Carry out “right to work” checks on all prospective employees before the employment starts.
  • Conduct follow-up checks on employees who have a time-limited permission to live and work in the UK, or require a document to evidence their right as in the case of non-EEA family members of EEA nationals, or an application pending.
  • Keep records of all the checks carried out.
  • Not employ anyone it knows or has reasonable cause to believe is an illegal worker.

For those employed from May 16th 2014 onwards, employer obligations are governed by the Immigration Asylum and Nationality Act 2006; the Immigration Act 2014, the Immigration Act 2016 and the current codes of practice and guidance published by UKVI.

The expert was solicitor Tom Redfern, senior partner of Redfern Legal LLP.

Monday 3rd July 2017