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Government reforms (1): Illegal working & discrimination – draft code of practice

illegal-workingThe Government has published a draft code of practice to assist employers to avoid unlawful discrimination when complying with their duty to carry out pre-employment immigration checks.  The Code of practice for employers: Avoiding unlawful discrimination while preventing illegal working is available here.

Although currently in draft the Code is unlikely to change before approval by the Secretary of State (which is likely to be very shortly).  The final version of the Code will have statutory force and may be taken into account by Courts and Tribunals. Therefore, it is recommended that employers should review and implement the Code as best practice guidance in order to help prevention of, and provide the best defence to, a discrimination claim.

The Code gives guidance on how to avoid race discrimination when complying with the duty to carry out pre-employment immigration checks.  In particular, the draft Code advises employers to:

The final Code will be supported by separate Government guidance and a Code of practice on the civil penalty scheme for employers.

The Code has been issued in light of the Government’s consultation on the prevention of illegal working, which included seeking the views of the Equality and Human Rights Commission and other appropriate employer bodies.

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Review Solicitiors