This week, the Home Office has released its quarterly figures which highlight the total number of fines or civil penalties that have been given to UK employers who have not obeyed Home Office compliance rules and employed migrant workers who have no right to work in the UK. In short, the quarterly report demonstrates that the UK Government is serious about clamping down on illegal working in the UK by the increasing number of unannounced compliance visits and subsequent illegal working penalties that are issued.
Latest Home Office figures on Illegal Working Penalties in the UK
The latest Home Office quarterly report on employer’s illegal working penalties in the UK highlights that from 1 July 2017 to 30 September 2017, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) issued 314 civil penalties to employers in London and the South-East of England. This totalled £4,950,000 worth of fines and 422 migrant works were found to be working in London and the South-East of England illegally. The quarterly report also confirms that the Midlands was the region with the second highest number of migrant workers found to be working illegally at 187 illegal migrant workers and Scotland and Northern Ireland issued the least number of civil penalties with 28.
The full Home Office quarterly report on employer’s illegal working penalties can be found here: Illegal Working Civil Penalties – Anonymous Regional Report | LEXVISA Solicitors and Barristers
How to Comply with Home Office Checks to avoid receiving Illegal Working Penalties in the UK
It is important that employers of UK businesses fulfil the necessary right to work checks in order to comply with Home Office guidance. Failure to do so may result in the employer being issued with a civil penalty, or worse; imprisonment.
Some of the key elements that employers must do in a right to work check are:
- Ensure that all the documentation provided by the migrant worker is genuine and that the documents are originals;
- Ensure that the migrant worker has permission to work in the UK doing the type of work that is being offered, i.e. taking into consideration the number of hours per week they are permitted to work; and
- Copy and keep the documents securely and record the date of the check and date for follow-up checks (record keeping).
The Employer’s Guide to Right to Work Checks published by the Home Office should be used by Tier 2 employers to ensure that they properly meet Home Office compliance guidelines. Employers can also use the Home Office’s online Employer checking service in order to check an employee or potential employee’s immigration status.
Unannounced Home Office compliance visits are becoming more common as the UK’s Hostile Environment Policy doe not appear to be dying down. Thus it is crucial for employers to comply with Home Office guidelines. Our expert Immigration Team can assist Tier 2 employers with making sure they are compliant at all stages of their Tier 2 Sponsor Licence as obtaining the Sponsor Licence is only the beginning. If you are unsure about the stringent and rigorous audits that are taking place up and down the country, then please contact our offices to arrange an initial consultation with our qualified Immigration Solicitor.
Using Legal Representation Comply with Home Office Checks to avoid Illegal Working Penalties in the UK
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to ensure you understand your duties and responsibilities of being a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Holder and help you ensure that your business is and remains compliant with all immigration requirements. Our immigration solicitors can help you conduct ‘mock immigration audits’ to help identify any potential issues which could be resolved before a ‘surprise’ UKVI Compliance Audit.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.
This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successfully Comply with Home Office Checks to avoid Illegal Working Penalties in the UK
Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your visa and immigration application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your immigration and visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.
Our offices are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.