The Home Office has recently published its quarterly figures for the number of illegal workers identified between April and June 2017. The figures show that illegal workers are not just isolated cases.
The Home Office identified 627 illegal workers in quarter two of 2017 and related fines totalled £7,283,750. Over a third of illegal workers were found in London and the South East.
Employers are legally required to carry out “right to work” checks on new employees, conduct follow up checks on those with time-limited rights and keep records of all checks carried out. The fines show that on average, an illegal worker can cost a business £11,000 in fines (the maximum fine being £20,000). These figures may act as a warning to those who feel they do not have the time or resources to carry out right to work checks. Leaving the civil penalty aside, disruption to business, reputational damage and the risk that a criminal offence may be committed if the employer had “reasonable cause to believe” the employee did not have the appropriate immigration status all act as strong incentives to put robust procedures in place.
If you need any advice on immigration status or require an assessment of your right to work procedures, please let us know.