FIS BREXIT Webinar: Labour Compliance and the Impact of New Immigration Rules

From the 1 January 2021 the UK will have transitioned out of the EU and the way in which we engage labour from the EU will change forever.  The Finishes and Interiors Sector employs some 175,000 people in the UK with an estimated 43% of these being EU migrants.  A quick explanation on the points based system and FIS concerns is available in our Brexit Toolkit here.  We have prepared a template letter that we are encouraging members to send to their MP to raise concerns here.

Movement of People Workshop (1st December 2020)

In this workshop FIS look at the impact of changes to regulation, how the new points based system may impact you and the wider market, provide top tips for how you need to communicate with your current workforce and insight into new models for recruitment in the future.

  1. Introduction, what we have learned from our recent labour market survey and wider research.
  2. A simple explanation of the new points based immigration system
  3. Employment models.  Your responsibilities in managing right to work and engaging your existing workforce
  4. The impact on agency workers and gangs, new requirements
  5. Q&A Panel discussion

Iain McIlwee of FIS was joined by Ahmed Ajina, Partner at legal firm Seddons, Ian Cole-Wilkins and James Smith from Indigo Group, Nathan Raven from Lignum Group and David Howard from Bamboo Project Solutions.


Slides from the workshop

Additional questions not answered in the webinar:

Q1: What is your responsibility if you do if you find a worker who has no right to work?

The first thing to establish is the facts, did they have ever have the right to work in the UK or whether they had it then subsequently lost it, eg an expired visa – effectively understand the situation before you decide what you want to do about it?

Where an individual had the right and then subsequently lost the position there is potentially a 28 day grace period [limited circumstances] but in any event you need to carry out a fair and reasonable investigation. As a protective measure I would also contact the employer enquiry helpline and act in line [0300 123 5434] with their advice as helps mitigate risk.

If the employee has never held the right to work then it depends at which point that is found out, if at pre-employment [when checks should be carried out] then refuse to engage and notify the home office. If for some reason missed at commencement  but have worked for you and been paid then seek advice from someone such as Ahmed.

In any event don’t allow them to continue to perform services but equally you can’t just auto terminate employment or not make payment, you therefore need a holding arrangement that has been clearly explained and ideally agreed with the employee. Oddly loss of right to work or not having it in the first place won’t automatically give grounds for dismissal.

 Q2. Can you reasonably contract out the risk here to a third party?

The statutory obligation falls to the employer, you can move the employer [umbrella or peo] but this only really deals with the statutory aspects. The wider world will often continue to see the site owner/main contractor as the offending party. The issues at Twickenham and the Spurs stadium build being good examples ‘Illegal workers’ detained in Twickenham Stadium raid | Richmond and Twickenham Times

You can of-course create contractual re-course in the “event of” with the entity to which you have outsourced, but they are unlikely to agree [unless a high value customer]. It is more important to pick a partner you trust, you can see what they are actually doing in real-time and all times be satisfied that you have taken due care. It works best when this is also shared upwards to your client.

Q3: Can the visa costs be deducted from salary?

No – the visa costs cannot be deducted from the requisite salary level to be paid.

If you have further questions, please email them to 


FIS would like to extend our thanks to the organisations below who supported this event:

Seddons Law LLP advises UK and international clients on family law, estate planning, residential real estate, personal and commercial disputes, commercial real estate, real estate finance, corporate law, employment law, immigration and more. They are a top 200 law practice with a strong reputation for both commercial and private client work.

The Indigo Group offer a range of connected services that are shaped by legislation. We provide assurance and compliance services to multiple markets and sectors including; Safe and compliant engagement of subcontractors (CIS); Supply chain and project assurance solutions to reduce risk and increase visibility; Trusted payroll services for worker engagement and Simple identity verification and compliance solutions.

Lignum Group are recruitment experts working across the UK, Europe and the US, specialising in niche construction, facades and interiors projects that require specific expertise.

Bamboo Project Solutions offer a variety of on demand, outsourced project solutions to specialist contractors across Europe.

Additional information:

Visit the FIS Brexit Toolkit (incorporating additional information on Movement of Labour beyond Exit Day) here.

Secure your place on our next Midday. 10th December – Brexit Webinar: Preparing for Brexit, movement of goods and contracts