Over £21m in penalties issued for employing illegal workers

09 June 2016

In the second half of 2015 over £21 million in penalties were issued to employers in the UK for hiring illegal workers.

UK Visas and Immigration and Immigration Enforcement publish a quarterly report showing the total number of fines (civil penalties) for illegal working given to employers in each region of the UK.

The total number of illegal workers identified in the second half of 2015 was 1820, the highest number of which were in the London & South East England region. 1217 penalties in total were issued to employers.

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.