Badge of Immigration Enforcement Officer Investigating Illegal Workers

The duty of UK Businesses to prevent illegal workers

Can your business afford to give away £8,538.00? That’s the average civil penalty sum made against UK businesses for employing illegal workers in breach of immigration laws.

If the above sum of money could substantially affect the stability of your business, it is important that as an employer employing or seeking to employ migrants, that you ensure that your workers have the right to live and work in the United Kingdom. Migrants’ right to work should be constantly monitored and checked in line with changes in Immigration Rules even after their employment commences as part of the employers’ responsibilities.

What happens if you as an Employer do not comply with the Immigration Rules?

As an employer, you can be fined up to £20,000 per person as a civil penalty for employing any illegal workers without the right immigration status and your organisation’s details may be published by Immigration Enforcement as a warning to other businesses not to employ illegal workers (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/employers-illegal-working-penalties#guidance-and-codes-of-practice).

Even worse, if you knowingly employ an illegal worker then you will commit a criminal offence and may face up to 2 years’ imprisonment and / or an unlimited fine if your case is dealt with at the Crown Court. Illegal workers include: students with expired visas, or students working more hours than they’re allowed to, and people who work on a visitor’s visa – these are just a few examples, but there are many more circumstances that you may not be currently aware of!

The sanctions that are imposed on any employer for hiring a migrant with no immigration status are serious and severe in its repercussions with the potential to damage any organisation’s revenue and reputation. You must therefore as an employer check that a job applicant or a current employee’s allowed to work for you in the UK before you employ them and you have the right sponsorship licence in place before you take on an employee.

Under the current immigration laws, statistics show that approximately 1270 employers across the UK have been subject to civil penalties to date for retaining illegal migrant workers for a total value of £10,843,750. However, this statistic is ever growing with the number of employers penalised for hiring illegal workers expected to increase due to no compliance.

How can Black Antelope Law help your organisation?

We provide clear and concise advice on all aspects of business immigration law in the United Kingdom with results that will allow you to:

  1. Employ and maintain the right of workers for your organisation
  2. Avoid any negative publicity and damage to your organisation’s reputation
  3. Make visa applications and/or applications for an extension of stay and settlement
  4. Undergo audits in the workplace to combat illegal working and any subsequent disciplinary issues
  5. Avoid any criminal and civil sanctions that might otherwise be enforced upon you

Our business immigration service includes keeping you up to date on relevant immigration law updates which may affect your specific organisation. We will provide you with all the relevant materials and our team will always be on hand to advise you accordingly.

Your needs can be discussed in a no-obligation meeting with a simple consultation to assess the status and structure of your organisation and its compliance with the current immigration laws.

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