Changes to Prevention of Illegal Working UK

Changes to Prevention of Illegal Working UK

05 December 2016

Changes to Law from 1 December 2016

Immigration is definitely a hot topic for 2016 and even more so post-Brexit.  The government, by way of the Immigration Act 2016(“the Act”) is trying to show it is taking a robust stance against those business that employ staff that do not have the right to work in the UK.  Several changes to the Act have taken place designed to act as mechanisms to encourage businesses to carry out the necessary right to work checks on all of their workers:

12 July 2016: an extension of the existing criminal offence to cover an employer who has ‘reasonable cause to believe it is employing someone illegally’ which could result in an unlimited fine and/or a custodial sentence for up to 5 years for a director, manager or Company Secretary;

1st December 2016: the Home Office now has the power to close premises for up to 48 hours where a Chief Immigration Officer has reasonable grounds that a business is employment someone without the right to work in the UK.  This business closure does not require the Home Office to demonstrate the employer’s awareness that is was employing someone illegally.  Business closure could have dramatic financial consequences for an employer in these circumstance.

The legislation is in place to prevent people being employed illegally.  As a business owner or employer you face serious risks if you do not keep your employee records up to date.  Have you undertaken right to work checks, are visas still in date, are employees who they say they are?  All important questions that you, as an employer, have a responsibility to answer and ensure the answer to all is ‘YES.’

More information can be found on the National Law Reviews Website