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Government to Get Tough on Employers | Immigration Matters

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Government to get tough
on Directors employing
illegal immigrants

The new Home Secretary John Reid has announced measures to penalise company directors employing illegal immigrants.

The controversial “two strikes and you’re out” proposal in which directors would be struck off if their firms were found to be breaching immigration rules on two separate occasions, is the brainchild of John Reid, the Home Secretary.

Employer organisations and opposition parties have condemned the idea saying that employers should not be held responsible for the government’s failure to control our borders. Conservative leader David Davis said: “This is an amazing admission of failure. Up until the public outrage over the Chinese cockle pickers the Government had only prosecuted a handful of employers under existing legislation in this area introduced by Michael Howard in 1996.

“Now they are saying business must be held responsible when really the problem is that they have lost control of this country’s borders and almost anybody can get in.” There are an estimated 570,000 illegal immigrants in Britain, including failed asylum seekers, trafficked immigrants and those who overstay. David Frost, the director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, reacted angrily to the plan and said that he would protest in person to Margaret Hodge, the small business minister. He said: “It is just not on for small businesses to take the rap for this – particularly when we have evidence that the Government has been handing out National Insurance numbers, which are absolutely central to this problem, like confetti.”

These measures will do little to discourage ruthless gang masters who knowingly exploit illegal workers.

Legitimate employers can easily unwitting employ illegal workers who appear to have all the correct documentation. Why would you not employ an applicant who has a current passport visa stamp, bank account, National Insurance number, references and a valid

Police Check?

In May, five illegal immigrants, who had been employed by a cleaning contractor, were found to be working on Home Office premises. The five, all Nigerians, were held when they turned up to work as cleaners at Beckett House, near London Bridge. They were all employed by Techclean, a Surrey-based contract-cleaning firm which operates across Britain through a network of franchises and company-owned branches. When Government agencies such as the Home Office, Job Centres and the Inland Revenue seem unable to detect illegal workers, what chance does a busy employer have?

Until the Government simplifies the system and makes it easier to identify illegal workers employers will always be at risk of falling foul of the law.

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If you should have any questions concerning any of the above issues please email Charles Kelly or see our website.

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