UK Visas and Immigration have published a quarterly report outlining the total number of fines for illegal working given to employers across the United Kingdom.
The report highlights that 826 illegal workers were found across the UK between 1 July and 30 September 2017 – an increase of 24% from the previous quarter.
600 penalties were issued to employers, amounting to fines of over £9.5 million.
It is important for employers to remember that they may be sent to jail for 5 years, or pay an unlimited fine if they are found guilty of employing someone who they knew or had ‘reasonable cause to believe’ did not have the right to work in the UK.
This will include if an employer had any reason to believe that the individual did not have leave to enter or remain the UK, or that their leave had expired.
For this reason, employers are strongly encouraged to check their employees properly, so as to avoid any future penalisation. A business’s details may also be published by Immigration Enforcement as a warning to other businesses that they must not employ illegal workers, and therefore failing to act properly could cause considerable reputational damage.