Harrison Drury’s employment law team summarises the key considerations for employers offering work to Ukrainian refugees.
Under the recently introduced Homes for Ukraine scheme, successful applicants are given three years’ permission to stay in the UK, with the right to work, study and access public funds.
Following on from this, a number of businesses in the hospitality sector have confirmed they will be assisting Ukrainian refugees seeking employment, with Burger & Lobster announcing plans to develop a website with the aim of speeding up the recruitment process for refugees seeking work.
For any business planning to offer work to Ukrainian refugees, we set out below some important considerations:
Checking an applicant’s right to work
Employers will still need to conduct the appropriate right to work checks. However, in these circumstances, some of the documents used to demonstrate right to work may be unconventional as the Home Office has offered special visa schemes and fast-tracked immigration processes for Ukrainian refugees. Appropriate evidence may include a visa vignette, a wet ink stamp on a passport or a BRP.
Ukrainians with a right to work under these schemes will have the same rights as UK workers, and must be afforded the same protections. Compliance with the usual regulations, including national minimum wage and working time, will be required.
Thought should be given to the type of arrangement that is put in place with the individual as to the provision of accommodations. Is accommodation being provided purely under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme, or is it a requirement of the worker’s role that they live on-site?
Business sponsorship route
Although further details are yet to be announced, employers may also wish to record their interest in accommodating individuals fleeing Ukraine under the UK Government’s business sponsorship scheme. The FAQs for sponsors is being updated regularly.