Immigration Bill receives Royal Assent

26 May 2016

On Thursday 12 May 2016, the Immigration Bill received Royal Assent and is now known as the Immigration Act 2016. The Act will:

  • introduce new sanctions on illegal workers and rogue employers
  • provide better co-ordination of regulators that enforce workers’ rights
  • prevent illegal migrants in the UK from accessing housing, driving licences and bank accounts
  • introduce new measures to make it easier to enforce immigration laws and remove illegal migrants.

Full details of all the measures in the Immigration Act 2016, including the various amendments to the original bill, will be updated on GOV.UK.

Measures in the act will be implemented over the coming months so it is the ideal time for employers to ensure they have good processes in place for right to work checks.

It is important to ensure the rules on preventing illegal working are adhered to as the consequences for non-compliance can be serious. Employers can face criminal prosecution and hefty fines; the maximum civil penalty for illegally employing an immigrant increased from £10,000 to £20,000 in May 2014.

On GOV.UK the UK Visas and Immigration and Immigration Enforcement have An employer’s guide to right to work checks which details:

  • what a right to work check is
  • why you need to do right to work checks
  • whose documents you should check
  • how to carry out checks
  • when to carry out initial checks, follow-up checks and what happens under TUPE
  • what documents are acceptable.