Increase to civil penalties for illegal working
The Home Office has announced that the civil penalties for employers employing workers illegally will triple.
This means that the current civil penalty for employers who employ an individual without the appropriate immigration permission in the UK will rise from £15,000 per illegal worker for a first breach, to £45,000. The current maximum of £20,000 per illegal worker for repeat breaches will rise to £60,000 per illegal worker. These higher penalties will come in at the start of 2024, but no set date has yet been announced.
The Home Office has said that it will consult on options to strengthen action against licensed businesses who are employing illegal workers.
This hike in penalties makes it all the more important for employers to ensure that they are conducting proper right to work checks for their employees. Provided that a proper check has been carried out the employer will then have a statutory excuse against a civil penalty if an employee is subsequently found to be illegally working in the UK.