Getting to grips with right to work checks can save businesses from having to pay huge fines and avoid reputational damage. Businesses that employ staff without carrying out proper document checks face civil penalties of up to £20,000 per employee working illegally. HR and those with responsibility for recruitment should have a thorough understanding of their right-to-work obligations, including the monitoring of visa expiry dates and appropriate follow-up checks. Responding on time to a Home Office Information Request can reduce a penalty by £5,000 and avoid revocation of a sponsor licence. It is also worth seeking specialist advice as the Home Office sometimes issues penalties incorrectly and the employer may not be aware that it has a legitimate defence.