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| 1 minute read

Huge increase in penalties for employing illegal workers announced

The government has announced plans to triple the financial penalties for employing illegal migrants.

Currently, first-time offenders found to be employing those without the right to work in the UK will be subject to a civil penalty of £15,000. This civil penalty then increases to £20,000 for every repeat offence detected.

From the beginning of 2024, businesses found to be employing illegal migrants will instead face civil penalties of up to £45,000 for the first offence and £60,000 for every breach thereinafter.  

Given these steep increases to civil penalties, it is now even more important that businesses ensure that they are conducting compliant right to work checks in relation to all employees. Conducting a compliant right to work check before the employee starts work will provide an employer with a statutory excuse against a civil penalty. This means that, if the Home Office finds that the employer has employed someone who does not have the right to do the work in question, the employer will have a statutory excuse against a civil penalty in relation to the illegal worker in question.

Conducting compliant right to work checks is also an obligation under the sponsorship regime, and any sponsors discovered to be in breach may have their sponsor licence downgraded or revoked.

For more information on conducting compliant right to work checks, please see here


immigration, employment