The UK Border Agency are to name and shame organisations who employ illegal workers by publishing quarterly reports detailing the civil penalties or fines issued.
The UK Border Agency (UKBA) said:
‘Illegal working causes damaging social and economic problems for the UK. It undercuts businesses that operate within the law, undermines British workers, and exploits migrant workers. Employers who employ illegal workers will face robust action and may face a civil penalty of up to £10,000 for each illegal worker.’
Employers have a duty to check that all new employees are entitled to work in the UK and follow UKBA guidance.
The UKBA will publish quarterly reports that show:
- the number of civil penalties issued;
- the number of illegal workers found; and
- the value of the penalties broken down by geographical regions.
Also published will be a quarterly report naming employers who have:
- not paid or are not making regular payments for a penalty 28 days after they have exhausted their objection and/or appeal rights; or
- been served with a second or subsequent penalty once they have exhausted their objection and/or appeal rights regardless of whether any payment has been made.
Quarterly reports will consider all employers whose appeals rights were exhausted within the period reported on.
A penalty will be counted as a second or subsequent penalty if it was issued within 3 years of a previous penalty or warning letter.
The reports will provide a reference tool for the public as well as for corporate partners and other stakeholders.
The agency added that they will continue to publish details of operations to tackle illegal working and immigration abuse on a case-by-case basis. Source: UK Border Agency.
The quarterly report for the London and South East area reveals that almost all the offenders were independent restaurants and takeaways, with the exception of Dominos Pizza.
Employers should be aware of the pitfalls when employing non-EU and EU workers.
This year government introduced a cap on non-EU migration and has restricted students in private colleges from working.
Employers looking for staff, for instance in the care industry, are increasingly turning to EU member workers from Eastern Europe.
However, not all EU members have the same rights to work in the UK and getting it wrong could result in a hefty fine.
Employers are often unaware of the distinct difference between ‘A8’ nationals (Polish, Latvian, Slovakian, Czechs, Hungarians, Slovenians Lithuanians and Estonians), who joined the EU in 2004 and more recent members from Bulgaria and Romania. Although both groups have the same rights to freely enter the UK, they do not enjoy the same rights to work, or free movement of labour.
Despite the fact that they are EU members, when it comes to employment Bulgarian and Romanian citizens do not have the same rights as other Europeans, for instance from Poland, Slovakia or other A8 Accession countries. See: Free Movement of EU nationals explained.
British businesses would like to recruit Romanian, Bulgarian and other European workers, as the Government’s cap on migration, combined with newly imposed restrictions on Tier 2 and Tier 4 routes, has made it increasing difficult to recruit non-EU staff (on work permits and student visas).
Leading NVQ and vocational course provider Majestic College has seen a large increase in the number of students from Bulgaria and Romania this year. The college helps students through the yellow card process and arranges work placements for NVQ/QCF Health and Social Care learners.
If you need any immigration advice or help with Sponsorship or Work Permits, Visa, ILR/Settlement, Citizenship, dependant visa or an appeal against a refusal please email:
Majestic College offer special packages for EU students. They also have a number of employers looking for staff right now and are willing to employ Bulgarians and Romanians.
For more information call Joanna on 0208 207 1020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org