UK Right to Work Penalties to Triple in 2024
From the start of 2024, the maximum penalty for employing a worker who doesn’t have the legal right to work in the UK will increase from £20,000 to £60,000 per illegal worker (or from £15,000 to £45,000, if it’s a first offence). The additional penalty of up to five years in prison remains the same.
Given the nature of production, where crew come and go frequently, assessing each worker’s right to work – before they start work – can be challenging. To reduce your risk, it’s essential that productions have robust processes in place to ensure everyone working on the production has the legal right to do so.
Steps to take
Production companies (as the employer) may have a statutory excuse against liability for illegal working if they can demonstrate that they carried out right to work checks in line with Home Office guidance.
In light of the increased penalties, production companies may also want to consider additional measures, such as:
- Regularly reviewing their right to work processes
- Providing ongoing training to crew responsible for carrying out right to work checks
- Investing in technology to ensure best practices are being observed
- Seeking specialist legal advice, where necessary
How EP can help
The EP Production Portal helps you to track whose right to work has been confirmed and get everything in order before anyone steps on set. Send reminders to those who need to upload their documents and set up alerts to complete your checks as soon as they do.
In line with Home Office requirements, the Production Portal captures the name of the reviewer and the date and time of the review. And because crew upload a copy of their right to work documents directly to the platform, you maintain a secure audit trail even after you wrap.
For more information on contracting crew in the UK, see Getting Your Crew Contracts in Place: A guide for UK productions.