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  • Suzanne McMinn
  • 25 August 2015
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Government cracks down on firms employing illegal immigrants

British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced a further tightening of the Government’s policy on immigration that will have an impact on employers who fail to properly check the legal status of their workers.

More stringent penalties have been put forward under a new immigration policy that could result in businesses who fail to police their workforce being forced to shut down for 48 hours, and with employees working illegally potentially seeing their wages confiscated.

The announcement follows the extension of a scheme requiring landlords to check the legal status of tenants and to evict them if they are found to be illegal immigrants.

In both cases, the failure to make enquiries of the status of the individual in question will not be deemed to be an excuse.

The UK has always been under scrutiny to ensure that right to work checks are completed for all new employees, those who transfer to employers under TUPE provisions, and to ensure that regular checks are completed to ensure employees maintain the right status to continue to work.

Suzanne McMinn, HR Director at International Workplace, commented:

“The new Immigration Bill, set to be launched later this year, will ensure that there is a much tighter process for employers to follow. Ignorance of an employee’s right to work status will not be tolerated, with the bill set to introduce fines and higher sentences where proper employment checks have not been made by the employer prior to employing someone.

“Any good employer should be looking at confirming at the interview stage whether the applicant has the right documentation and can legally work in the UK. The guidance is there and if in doubt you should not appoint; the risks and fines are too great to run the risk.”

International Workplace provides support to businesses on employment law and employee relations, including assistance with TUPE matters and Employment Tribunals. Please call us on +44 (0)871 777 8881 for more information.