Civil Penalties for Illegal Workers

As an employer, you can face civil penalties under the Immigration Act 2016, if you are found to have knowingly employed individuals without the legal right to work in the UK. Not only will such penalties have a financial impact on your business, but they can also have significant implications on your business’s reputation.

What is a Civil Penalty?

Under section 15 of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, UK employers must ensure that all employees have the required permissions to lawfully work in the UK. This can be established by conducting the “Right to Work” checks.

Reasons why an employee may not have the right to work in the UK include:

  • They did not have leave (permission) to enter or remain in the UK.
  • Their legal documents were incorrect or false.
  • Their leave had expired.
  • They were not permitted to do certain types of work.

We understand that at times this step may be overlooked in error by a business or organisation. However, the consequences can be critical.

Where a business is found to be in breach of its immigration duties, a civil penalty for illegal employment may be served.

Fines and sanctions

Since February 2024 the fines have increased and start from £45,000 per illegal worker for a first breach, and up to £60,000 for repeat breaches. The business is also likely to be prevented from employing foreign workers in the future. More importantly, criminal sanctions may also be imposed in extreme cases where employers can face a prison sentence of up to 5 years for having knowingly employed illegal workers.

It is important to seek legal advice and taken action as where a Civil Penalty is not paid or no Objection is made, the Home Office can take debt recovery enforcement action through the County Court. This will have a direct impact on credit rating and is certainly not a desirable position for any business.

How Muldoon Britton can help

If your business has received a Civil Penalty under the Immigration Act, it is important to immediately seek legal advice as soon as possible.

Our specialist team of solicitors are best placed to deal with such issues. Combining the strength of our expertise in litigation and immigration, Muldoon Britton will act with speed to achieve the best outcome for you.

For example, we can seek to challenge the Civil Penalty by way of an Objection (which must be done within 28 days), achieve a reduced penalty or negotiate instalment arrangements where possible.

At times, the Civil Penalty may be imposed even where an Objection is made. In this case we are able to appeal this decision to the County Court.

Get in touch

Facing a Civil Penalty can be daunting, but you do not have to tackle this alone. Contact our expert team today and let us help you to protect the interests of you and your business.

If you desire additional details on Civil Penalties, do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are eager to engage in further discussions.

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Civil Penalties for Illegal Workers

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With years of experience working in UK immigration and Litigation law, our advisors can help you understand the process and take the right steps toward obtaining your goals. Get in touch today.