Financial & Legal News

Be Warned: The Government is Pursuing “Bad Employers” Who Employ Illegal Workers

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Whatever your personal or political views on immigration, the law prohibits businesses from employing illegal workers – and there are serious penalties for those who breach the law.

Two months ago, we published a blog on this issue, asking "Employers: do Your Employees have Permission to Work in the UK?"

We mentioned then that the government is becoming more proactive about identifying and fining employers who employ staff without a right to work in the UK.

Recent news supports that view: on 24 November 2017, the Insolvency Service issued a press release confirming that its "Countrywide crackdown continues" with "20 directors of 16 more companies disqualified for employing illegal workers".

The press release makes stark reading – and acts as a clear warning to businesses:

"In all, 20 directors in 16 separate businesses across the United Kingdom have been disqualified recently, following investigations by the Insolvency Service, all of whom were already fined for employing illegal workers. Eighteen people have been banned from being company directors or being involved in the management of companies for six years each, whilst two have been disqualified for 7 years.

The businesses, which include 11 restaurants, four takeaway/fast food establishments, and a shop, are based in London (4), Sussex (3), North West (3) South Wales (2), Glasgow, Antrim, Frome and High Wycombe.

Between them, they employed 41 illegal workers and were fined a total of £505,000 by the Home Office, none of which was paid. Two of the companies have now entered into liquidation, with a further two having been dissolved."

Take Preventative Action

As the businesses referred to above found to their cost, employing illegal workers can damage your business.

To avoid liability:

  • when recruiting, check the papers of all prospective workers carefully – before you employ them;
  • check that they are entitled to work in the UK; 
  • if you make an offer of employment, make a note of the dates on which your new employee's permission to work will expire – and check before that expiry to ensure.

Read more about what you can do, here

Employment Law Update - Seminar 8 February 2018

Our employment team will give a seminar on various employment law issues on 8 February 2018 at our Hollinwood offices. To find out more and book your place, click here

To discuss the checking procedures and what you need to do to ensure your work force has the right to work in the UK, contact Susan Mayall on 0161 684 6948 or make an enquiry.

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.

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