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Government pledges crackdown on employers that employ illegal migrants

BY Anita Mulholland
Employment Law & HR
BG Purple

The UK Government continues to face criticism over its approach to immigration and, specifically, its handling of this summer’s immigration crisis in Calais.

The immigration Minister, James Brokenshire, has announced that the government will step up its efforts to crack down on illegal working and that employers in certain sectors will come under increased scrutiny from the Home Office. He suggested that efforts would be focussed on employers in the construction, care and cleaning sectors this coming Autumn. 

It is unlawful to employ an individual who does not have the right to work in the UK or who is working in breach of their conditions of stay in the UK. Employers therefore have a legal duty to carry out right to work checks when employees start working for them. If an employee is subject to immigration control, these checks should be repeated annually to ensure that the person continues to have the right to work in the UK. If an employer fails to carry out these checks and negligently or deliberately employs someone without the right to work they can face a maximum civil penalty of £20,000 per employee.

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