100% increase in penalties for employing illegal workers

The government has launched a consultation on proposals to strengthen and simplify the current rules on illegal working and civil penalties.

17 July 2013

The government has launched a consultation on proposals to strengthen and simplify the current rules on illegal working and civil penalties.

Under the proposals, employers who are repeatedly found to be illegally employing migrants could face a penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker. This is twice the current maximum. The government also proposes allowing the UK Border Agency to recover civil penalties personally from directors or partners of businesses that are in breach of illegal working rules.

In addition to increasing the severity of penalties, the government wants to make it easier for legitimate businesses to establish employees’ right to work in the UK. Proposals include:

  • Future checks should be based on migrants’ biometric residence permits, rather than the variety of existing permits and endorsements which can sometimes be difficult to understand.
  • Annual follow-up document checks for migrant workers will be replaced with checks that coincide with the expiry of their permission to be in the UK.

The consultation is open until 20 August 2013. You can read further details of the proposals in the Home Office consultation document (PDF). Burges Salmon will be submitting a response and, if you have any comments on the proposals and the impact that they may have on your business, please let us have your comments and we will include these in our response to the consultation.

If you would like more information, or specific advice, please contact Roger Bull, or get in touch with your usual Burges Salmon contact.

Key contact

Roger Bull

Roger Bull Managing Partner

  • Managing Partner 
  • Employment Disputes
  • Strategic HR Projects

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