The law for employers hiring illegal immigrants has been altered to simplify the right to work checks required, to make it easier for compliant employers to fulfil their responsibilities. In my opinion the change in law benefits all employers, this is because for the legit employers it makes it easier for them to do their job correctly and the employers who employ illegal immigrants cannot provide the excuses as it has been simplified for them. On the 6th April 2014 the fine that was charged per illegal worker found in a business, was raised from £10,000 to £20,000, this was to deter “rogue” employers from employing illegal workers. The Increase of the fine is a must, this is because illegal fines are up 75% in a year! British companies found to be employing illegal immigrants were fined more than £24 million in 2014. That’s a huge 75% increase from 2013’s annual fines of just over £14 million, from illegal immigrants.
Freedom of Information Act requests also reveal that 2,262 civil penalties were issued to employers of illegal workers in the UK in 2014, which represents a 24% increase on the 2013 figure of 1,822. This is a large increase in the amount of illegal workers been found each year and evidence that the change in the law is benefiting the UK Border Force to ensure they are clamping down on illegal immigrants working in the UK.
A spokesman for the Home Office immigration enforcement team said: “The legislative changes to civil penalties are part of a wider package of reform to the way in which we prevent illegal working.” “This includes significantly increased operational enforcement activity, reform of the way in which we administer civil penalties, and reform of the way in which we recover unpaid penalties administratively.” For example the change in the law makes it easier to enforce unpaid civil penalties in the civil courts. This will be achieved by an amendment to section 18 of the Act to allow an outstanding penalty to be registered with the court as if it were a debt due under a court order, after which enforcement action can be commenced immediately.”
The bill and regulation changes will benefit;
- Legitimate businesses, as with the simplified checks to ensure their employees are eligible to work within the UK, as well as the clamp down on employers who hire illegal immigrants, provides the opportunity for legitimate business to grow.
- Taxpayers, this is because there is a reduction in direct costs that can be attributed to illegal immigration and illegal work.
- The government, as the system is simpler to administer and more focused on targeting non-compliant employers which also helps legitimate employers as they are not been falsely investigated.
What happens when you employ illegal immigrants?
if you are caught employing an illegal worker you will receive a ‘referral notice’ to inform you that your case is being considered. You may get a fine also known as a Civil Penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker. Although you will not have to pay the fine if you can provide a valid reason for employing an illegal worker. When you receive your Civil Penalty Notice you will have 28 days to respond. The notice will give you your payment options and also be given information on what to do next or if you want to appeal.