Maximum penalty for illegally employing an immigrant increases to £20,000

16 May 2014

Where an employer is found to have employed workers who are subject to immigration control but do not have the right to work in the UK, the maximum civil penalty has now increased from £10,000 to £20,000 per illegally employed worker, following the Immigration Bill becoming an act of law on 14 May 2014. The Bill is now the Immigration Act 2014.

CIPP comment

Employers must make sure they are up to date with right-to-work checks and legal requirements or face serious consequences. As long as the rules on preventing illegal working are adhered to through having robust procedures and processes in place, employers can avoid substantial financial penalties and even criminal prosecution.

On 16 May 2014, the Home Office brought in changes to the document checks employers have to make and has produced guidance which sets out what employers must do.

By carrying out document checks an employer can ensure not only that people are legally allowed to work, but will also ensure a statutory excuse is held against a large fine if a person turns out to be an illegal worker.

Employers must prevent illegal working in the UK by carrying out document checks on people before employing them to make sure they are allowed to work. Use this guidance to find out:

  • 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

The illegal-working penalties collection includes all documents for employers on preventing illegal working.