Best Immigration Solicitors Manchester





Best Immigration Solicitors Manchester

immigration Solicitors:
illegal workers & civil penalties

The UK Border Agency introduced the Civil Penalty System for employers in February 2008.  Under this system employers can be issued with a Notification of Liability of a Civil Penalty of up to £10,000 if they are found to be employing illegal migrant workers.

Employers will be able to establish a statutory excuse by demonstrating that they have checked and copied specific documents before the employment began.  However this defence will not be available if employers knowingly employ illegal migrant workers. 

The UK Border Agency recommends that employers undertake checks on all prospective employees as this will enable an employer to establish a statutory excuse against payment of a civil penalty for employing an illegal migrant worker and it will also demonstrate that employers’ recruitment processes are open and transparent.  This will also ensure that recruitment practices do not discriminate against individuals on racial grounds.

However we recognise that full checks are not always undertaken and the statutory defence may not always be available.

If you are issued with a notice of potential liability and a Civil Penalty Notice it is important that you act quickly.  Employers must within 21 days either pay the civil penalty in full or ask the Civil Penalty Compliance Team for permission to pay the civil penalty in monthly instalments.  Alternatively an objection can be submitted to the Civil Penalty Compliance Team against the civil penalty or an appeal can be made to the county court.

The size of the civil penalty will depend on the type of the eligibility checks that the employer has made and will also take into account whether the UK Border Agency has issued a warning or previously imposed a civil penalty.  The extent that the employer has co-operated will also be taken into account.

In more serious cases where employers knowingly and deliberately use illegal migrant workers the more serious criminal offence of knowingly employing an illegal migrant worker may be committed which can carry a maximum custodial sentence of two years and /or an unlimited fine.

If you are issued with a Notification of Liability of a Civil Penalty our team of experienced solicitors will guide you through the process to ensure that the impact to your business is minimised wherever possible.