Civil penalties of up to £52,000 issued to employers, together with the name of the employer, are made public.
The UK Border Agency is taking no prisoners when dealing with businesses hiring illegal workers and even publishes their names and the fines issued on their website.
The vast majority of those hit with the new civil penalties are restaurants and takeaway establishments, which are relatively easy targets for enforcement officers.
Penalties range from £2,500 to £52,000 for a Southall based Dairy company. A number of restaurants received fines of between £10,000 and £20,000.
The details are listed by region and are updated monthly and includes details of employers from whom no appeal or objection is received within 28 days of service of the notice of liability (NOL).
Civil proceedings have been more successful than the previous criminal penalties, which were rarely imposed. Civil cases require a lower burden of proof than criminal cases, which have to be proven ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ to secure a conviction.
Employers must take appropriate steps to ensure they are compliant with the Law. This includes carrying out a thorough audit on all employee files to ensure they are entitled to work in the UK and that steps have been taken to check and record information.
Immigration Adviser Cynthia Barker, of Bison UK, has carried out a number of file audits on behalf of employers in the care sector. She said:
“It is no longer sufficient to plead ignorance or say that he or she had a National Insurance number, which therefore entitles them to work.
“The UK Border Agency has teams of officers raiding employers premises every day of the week, and employers have been warned to get their house in order”.
An illegal immigrant is deported every eight minutes.
For more information, see the UK Border Agency’s policy on publication of non-compliant employer details.