Presently, if you are a business employing an illegal worker (a person who does not have the status to reside in the UK), you can face a fine of up to £20,000 for each illegal worker.
If you are a landlord and have rented a property to a tenant without status, you could face a fine of up to £1,000, and £80 for renting a room to lodgers. The fines can increase to £3,000 and £500 for subsequent offences.
The above regulations have been in place for a considerable amount of time to deter migrants from coming to the UK without a visa. The UK refers to this as the hostile environment, which aims to act as a deterrent by making it very difficult for those without visas to stay and reside in the UK.
The Immigration Minister, Robert Jenrick, has announced that fines for the above will be significantly increased to prevent people from crossing the channel and entering the UK illegally.
Civil penalties for employers hiring illegal workers will increase significantly from £20,000 to £45,000. For subsequent breaches, employers will face a £60,000 fine per worker.
Landlords who rent to tenants without status in the UK face fines of up to £10,000, a huge increase from the previous £1,000. Landlords who rent a room to lodgers will face a fine of up to £5,000.
We expect the legislation to be implemented this autumn, with plans for the new stricter penalties to come into force early next year.
The Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper, has stated that penalties issued to businesses have fallen by two-thirds since 2016, while arrests have also dropped. It is evident that moving forward, the Home Department will increase its budget for enforcement, likely resulting in more visits to businesses. This crackdown will put significant pressure on businesses to ensure that all their workers have relevant documents permitting them to work in the UK.
What can you do if you are hiring an illegal worker?
Such a fine can severely impact a business. Our advice is to apply for a sponsorship license as soon as possible. A sponsor license will permit you to sponsor workers from abroad to work in the UK legally.
We assist in such applications and will advise you on the requirements and guide you throughout the process. We also offer services to help you comply with your license requirements yearly.
Contact us today to find out more.
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