In October ACAS produced its latest booklet on recruitment, which will be a useful starting point for a new or small employer when expanding their workforce. It has links to templates and examples throughout the full recruitment process and useful information on avoiding discrimination. A word of warning, however, is that the section on checking on whether the applicant has the right to work in the UK only has links to the Home Office website. This is unhelpful, as this area requires specialist knowledge of sponsorship and other areas such as which dependants of those who have leave to enter the country can work.

As the Immigration Bill, currently at the committee stage, will introduce criminal rather than civil penalties for employing someone without the right to work, this area is even more pertinent. The bill changes the mens rea needed for a criminal offence from “knowing” in the current law to “knowing or having reasonable cause to believe”, and increases the maximum term of imprisonment for conviction of the offence to five years.