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UNITED KINGDOM: UKVI Tripling Fines for Illegal Workers
August 10, 2023
On 7 August 2023, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) announced later this year the Home Office will decide on options to increase their action against licensed businesses employing illegal workers. Since the beginning of 2018 there have been almost 5,000 civil penalties issued, totalling up to £88.4million imposed upon those businesses found to be employing illegal workers.
For a more macro look at this announcement, there is this illustrative example: those crossing the English Channel are enticed by agents promising jobs and housing, and illegal working is a way, therefore, in which for them to earn a living. The Minister for Immigration, Robert Jenrick stated: “there is no excuse for not conducting the appropriate checks and those in breach will not face significantly higher penalties.” As such the Home Office launched a taskforce and re-introduced information sharing with the financial sector to stop illegal workers from accessing bank accounts.
In light of a cross governmental taskforce, the importance of employers ensuring that they are diligently checking the right to work of any new employee prior to their first date of work is paramount. Immigration enforcement is now at its highest levels, with an increase in visits of 50% this year, while arrests for 2023 year-to-date have already eclipsed the total for the whole of 2022.
If you have any compliance queries on the above or which are more nuanced please contact us directly at [email protected]. For general advice and information on immigration and business travel to the UK, please contact us.