The fines for breaching immigration rules in the UK are stiff and can result in an illegal employment civil penalty. The ramifications for a business can be severe. There is the potential of a fine of up to £20,000 per illegal worker and also the future ability to hold a sponsor licence. If this is the case then all is not lost, it is possible to appeal civil penalty.
Below is a list of civil penalties in the UK as they apply to immigration;
Financial penalties - These are up to £20,000 per illegal worker and can mean the difference between a business staying open and not. In many cases, a small business with more than one illegal worker may need to close because of the penalty.
Impact on sponsorship licences - A breach of conditions is likely to heavily impact the ability of a business to get another sponsorship licence in the future.
Business licence revocation - Under new powers, it is also possible for a business licence to be revoked if conditions have been breached.
Criminal conviction - It is also possible to face criminal charges for employing illegal workers. Laws have been tightened to ensure that employers are liable for ensuring the status of its sponsored employees.
Temporary closure - Another power that has been granted is the ability to temporarily close the business while under investigation. The financial knock-on of this is also likely to harm the business going forward.
As you can see the British government have tightened the rules around the employment of sponsored employees, this is an effort to try and meet their targets on the reduction of immigration from outside of the EEA. There is an appeals process for civil penalties and appealing gives you the best chance of avoiding or at least reducing the potential negative impact on your business.
The process of immigration enforcement has been stepped up in recent times as the Home Office looks to enforce the law changes that came into force in 2016. This has resulted in a large upsurge in raids on many business sectors that are known to use immigrant workers, the hospitality industry, in particular, has been heavily affected due to its heavy use of low-paid immigrant workers often from outside of the EEA. This step up means that businesses need to be as prepared as possible for raids and know what they need to do if it should happen. We can help prepare for this by ensuring compliance within your business and ensuring should a raid ever happen that you will be compliant in all aspects of the law.
If you need to talk to someone about your business, or if you are an employee needs to discuss your status then get in touch, our specialist's immigration experts are ready and waiting to help with all manner of immigration issues and can even help appeal against civil penalty enforcement. Get the experts in your corner and help ensure the compliance of your business.