Government To Announce New Laws On Illegal Immigrant Workers

Leading Employment Lawyer Warns That Businesses Could Be Caught Out

21.05.2015

David Shirt, Press Officer | 0161 838 3094

The Government is set to announce a crackdown on immigrants who are working illegally in the UK.

Under current immigration legislations, if immigrants with leave to remain in the UK work in breach of their visa conditions, they could face a penalty of 6 months imprisonment or an unlimited fine. However, there is currently a loophole in place which means that if individuals enter and work in the UK illegally, there are no criminal penalties.

It has been suggested a new immigration bill will be announced in next week’s Queen’s Speech, as part of a ‘tougher but fairer’ way to manage immigration. The proposed changes are expected to close down this apparent loophole, which Prime Minister, David Cameron, says are currently ‘too easy’ to exploit.

The new package of powers will, amongst other things, give Police the power to seize the wages of illegal workers as proceeds of crime.

Expert Opinion
“By wrapping new criminal sanctions around the practices surrounding the employment of migrant workers, the Government will no doubt be scaring employers away from employing people from overseas – which looks like it might be the objective here.

“Under the Government’s proposed plans, it looks like anyone involved in facilitating illegal working could be guilty of a criminal offence. It will become increasingly important for employers to ensure they have carried out the requisite checks before and during the employment of all workers in order to satisfy themselves that the worker has the right to be and work in the UK.”
Omer Simjee, Partner