To avoid civil and criminal liabilities, all employers, regardless of whether they are a licenced sponsor or not must understand who can work in the UK without permission. If a business is found to be employing workers who do not have the correct permission to work in the UK or who have restrictions on how many hours they can work, it will be penalised by the Home Office who have the power to impose a range of penalties.
Sanctions for Businesses
The following are the possible penalties businesses and key personnel may face:
- Civil penalties of up to £20,000 for each illegal worker;
- Revocation of Sponsor Licence after which an application for a new licence can only be made 12 months after the revocation date;
- Prosecution for possessing an ID document (or a copy of it) that is false or improperly obtained (you could face up to 2 years imprisonment and/or receive unlimited fine);
- Disqualification as a company director; and
- If the Home Office need to take action to enforce payment of a civil penalty, this could adversely affect the business or key personnel’s ability to obtain credit.
The above list is not exhaustive and businesses that are found to be employing workers with no permission to work in the UK will be listed on the Home Office’s website with full details of the penalties they received. Businesses should therefore consider seeking legal advice to ensure that they are not found to be in breach of their duties or they may face harsh penalties and loss of reputation.
Challenging a Civil Penalty Notice
Our business immigration team are regularly instructed by organisations who have received notice from the Home Office of a possible sanction. If you have been issued with a civil penalty/fine for employing illegal migrants, our expert immigration solicitors can consider your options with you including whether the penalty can be challenged or reduced.
If you receive a Civil Penalty Notice and you want to object, you will be given 28 days from the date given in your notice to do so. Our expert immigration team have considerable experience in preparing detailed representations objecting to the issuance of a penalty and/or the amount which is due under the penalty.
We are a UK law firm based in Middle Temple, London and our solicitors are fully authorised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). Contact our professional business immigration team today and we can offer you a consultation in person or via telephone or Skype so we can explore your options. You can leave us a message on our Contact Form or give us a call on 02071830570.