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Illegal working penalties total £21.5m in July to December 2015

UK Visas and Immigration have published a report showing the total number of fines (civil penalties) for illegal working given to employers in 1 July 2015 to 31 December 2015. In that period 1820 illegal workers were found, with 1271 penalties issued coming to a total of £21.5m. Currently it is a criminal offence to ‘knowingly’ employ an illegal worker and employers can face an unlimited fine and up to two years in prison. From 12 July 2016, S.35 of the Immigration Act 2016 extends the existing criminal offence to also included a situation where the employer has ‘reasonable cause’ to believe that the employee is an illegal worker and the maximum term of imprisonment for conviction will increase from two years to five years. Current guidance on conducting illegal working checks can be found on the UK Visas and Immigration website.

Content Note

The aim is to provide summary information and comment on the subject areas covered. In particular, where employment tribunal and appellate court cases are reported, the information does not set out full details of all the facts, the legal arguments presented by the parties and the judgments made in every aspect of the case. Click on the links provided to access full details. If no link is provided contact us for further information. Employment law is subject to constant change either by statute or by interpretation by the courts. While every care has been taken in compiling this information, SM&B cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Specialist legal advice must be taken on any legal issues that may arise before embarking upon any formal course of action.

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