Employers' Civil Penalties - assistance with the UK Border Agency
Over the last few months there have been many reports of businesses being raided by officers from the UK Border Agency (UKBA) and there has been an unprecedented level of prosecutions against employers who have been found to be employing non EU migrants who do not have permission to work in the UK. The UKBA seems to be very clear in its aim, which is to send out a message to employers that if they illegally employ non EU migrants, they will be subject to stiff penalties.
The UKBA are introducing local immigration teams across the UK who will work alongside other agencies including the police. They state that around 7,500 officers and staff will be organised into 70-80 local immigration teams who will enforce the full range of Immigration Laws including tackling illegal working.
Immigration legislation states that an employer can be issued with a maximum penalty of £10,000 per illegal worker. The UKBA have also stated that from June 2008 any business which has been fined will be named and hence shamed on the UK Border Agency Website.
However it needs to be borne in mind that when the UKBA is considering imposing civil penalties upon employers, it needs to act in accordance with a specific code of practice. When sensibly advised, employers can put forward a number of objections to a Penalty Notice which can have the effect of reducing the Civil Penalty. The employer also has the option of appealing to the County Court.
Obtaining specialist advice at the earliest opportunity can be critical to any employer who has been issued with a Civil Penalty Notice in order that appropriate representations can be made putting forward all relevant facts.
To download a PDF brochure summarising our Immigration Services, please click here.