What are the New Measures?
In a landmark development heralding the most significant alteration in civil penalties since 2014, a substantial increase in fines awaits employers and landlords found guilty of employing unauthorised migrants or renting out properties to them.
Suella Braverman, the Home Secretary, has officially announced a comprehensive escalation in penalties imposed on employers. The fine for first-time offences, involving illegal workers, will surge to a maximum of £45,000, marking a threefold increase from the prior £15,000. Similarly, repeat breaches will now incur penalties of up to £60,000, a significant escalation from the previous £20,000 fine.
From 2018 until July 2023, nearly 5,000 civil penalties have been administered to employers, resulting in a cumulative level of fines of £88.4 million. Simultaneously, landlords have faced over 320 civil penalties, totalling £215,500 in fines, during the same timeframe.
Additional Potential Measures
In the upcoming months, the Home Office intends to embark on a consultation process to explore strategies for enforcing measures against licensed businesses that engage in the employment of unauthorised workers.
The Minister for Immigration, Robert Jenrick, emphasised, “There exists no justifiable excuse for neglecting proper verifications, and those found in contravention will now encounter substantially more severe penalties.”
Employers are already obligated to meticulously validate the eligibility of their workforce. The methodologies for such verifications remain unchanged, encompassing manual scrutiny of original documentation and utilisation of the Home Office’s online authentication system, which takes a mere five minutes and is accessible through the official GOV.UK website.
The Negatives of Undocumented Employment in the UK
Undocumented employment and residency have emerged as prominent attractions for migrants undertaking perilous crossings over the Channel. Robert Jenrick emphasised that traffickers frequently exploit the prospect of employment and housing to lure individuals into embarking on these journeys.
Engaging in the employment of unauthorised migrants not only undermines ethical employers but also exposes vulnerable individuals to exploitation, deprives legitimate job seekers of opportunities, and defrauds the public coffers due to evasion of tax obligations, Mr. Jenrick concluded.
Advice and Additional Information
If you would like to discuss this topic in more detail or need any assistance with your obligations as an employee or a landlord, please contact Paul Webb, at the Dixcart office in the UK: firstname.lastname@example.org