Every employer, regardless of size, has a responsibility to perform right to work checks on any individual they intend to employ to ensure they have a legal right to work in the UK. This is regardless of race, ethnicity or nationality (applying to UK/European citizens alongside any other nationality). The right to work checks must be conducted in strict accordance with a process prior to the commencement of employment and any work undertaken by the individual on behalf of the employer. This applies to any full-time, part-time, or contract role.
Up to May 2014, it was satisfactory to simply date photocopies of relevant identification papers and file them away. Now the only way to establish a statutory excuse is to demonstrate that the right to work checks have been correctly carried out and proof retained. An employer found to be employing an individual who does not legally have the right to work in the UK, could incur a fine of up to £20,000 per employee unless the employer has a statutory excuse.