Northern Ireland Strategic Migration Partnership

Employers must ensure that they are up to date on employment regulations in order to safeguard themselves from illegal employment practice, to protect the rights of workers and employees, and to promote the best working environment possible for all involved.

Right to Work

All employers are expected to ensure that their employees have the right to work in the UK by carrying out the correct checks. Employers of illegal workers risk fines or imprisonment. If you are unsure whether a current or prospective employee is entitled to work in the UK. The Home Office has published guidance on carrying out a right-to work check.

Recruiting Migrant Workers

With the exception of Croatia, workers from the EEA have a right to work in the UK without the need for any work permit. People from Croatia must show proof of permission to work.

The Home Office operates a points based system for the recruitment of non-EEA nationals. In order to employ a non-EEA national, an employer will need a sponsor licence. If the job to be filled is on the shortage occupation list an employer can recruit from outside the EEA without having to demonstrate that there were no suitable candidates for the position already resident in the UK or EEA. However, if the job is not included on the shortage occupation list, the employer will have to carry out a resident market labour test. Multinational employers can use the intra-company transfer (ICT) route to transfer employees between countries.

The Points Based System is complex and employers are advised to consult Home Office Guidance on the criteria and processes that must be followed when sponsoring a non-EEA worker.

Northern Ireland Strategic Migration Partnership