Mid last year, the Government passed draft legislation that will increase financial penalties for businesses that are found to be employing illegal workers. Under the draft ‘Immigration (Employment of Adults Subject to Immigration Control) (Maximum Penalty) (Amendment) Order 2023’, it sets out that the fine will increase from £15,000 to £45,000 for the first breach. For second and subsequent breaches, the penalty will increase from £20,000 to £60,000.
These are significant increases and are expected to be in force from 22 January 2024, although we are still waiting confirmation at the time of writing. This is a good reminder of the importance for Employers to take measures to guarantee a statutory excuse which can be achieved through adhering to the Government’s Employer Guide to right to work checks. In this guide, it sets out the steps to take to ensure that all applicants undergo a right to work check before starting work.