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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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We have a Polish employee who has been employed by us

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Hi, we have a Polish employee who has been employed by us from 2009. She is currently on maternity leave and made a recent application to the home office for her new child's passport. This application included her own passport, P60s for the employment with us (2009-Current) payslips and Contract of Employment. The application has been denied because she didn't have a WRS certificate from the period 2009-2011. She was recommended to us from an associate who at the time told us that she was allowed to work here and we didn't have any reason to doubt it and as it turns out, she didn't apply for the certificate as she didn't think she needed to. Her documents are now being held at the Home Office and they are saying they are unable to proceed without the requested WRS certificate.
She is worried that she will not get her documents back and will be subject to a fine when she has to admit to not having obtained one.
I would also like to know if our company is likely to face consequences.
Many thanks.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Have you actually done anything wrong in the circumstances?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Nothing to our knowledge Ben
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
If you, as an employer of an A8 national who has been working for more than one month cannot provide evidence (for example copies of letters) demonstrating an attempt to register with the WRS, you have committed a criminal offence, which could be subject to a fine of up to £5,000. However, UKBA do not hold powers that allow active enforcement of employers’ compliance with the scheme, although offences could be picked up through other immigration enforcement activity. By 2009, there were no prosecutions recorded for employer offences specifically relating to employing immigrants who are not registered on the WRS. I do not know if that has changed but as you can see this is a rather rare matter to enforce and especially fi this occurred all these years ago I am not certain that they will actively try and enforce it now. So do not overly worry about it and just see if they bother to do anything about it. My hunch would be that they won’t and you would not face any liability. I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Ben, this is most informative. With regard to our employee should she then tell the Home Office she doesn't have a certificate and request her documents be returned?Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
If she does not have a certificate then that is it – she cannot try and hide that fact. So it is pointless for her to try and tell them she has one or make something up and she should admit and see what happens.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** you think she is likely to be penalised and if so in what way might that be? I would like to give her as much information as possible...
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
I have been trying to find the documentation on the WRS scheme but even the UKBA has removed it from its website as this scheme closed down in 2011. So whilst I knew the issues in relation to you as an employer from the top of my head, I can't say the same for the employee's rights. Therefore, I cannot actually say if they will be likely to face a fine or not. As this is an old scheme though and not actively enforced any more, I would not expect them to take any action now - this would have been more prevaqlent when the scheme was actively in force but it has not been for more than 4 years now
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