16 businesses have recently been found to be in breach of immigration laws, as between them they employed 41 illegal workers. As a consequence, the businesses have been handed fines totalling £505,000 and 20 directors have been given disqualifications for six to seven years.

Cheryl Lambert, Chief Investigator at the Insolvency Service, said:

“Employing illegal workers is not consequence free … these directors sought an unfair advantage over their law-abiding competitors by employing people who were not entitled to work legally in the UK. It is bad for business and bad for society as a whole … the Government is pursuing bad employers.”

This is an illustration of the consequences employers can face if they do not ensure their workers are entitled to work in the UK. It is always useful for employers to include a contractual clause addressing the right to work in the UK in the contracts of employment, and to include a policy in the staff handbook so that businesses are reminded of their obligations. Additionally, Employers may wish to train all staff involved in recruitment to get the appropriate proof that new workers are entitled to work in the UK. 

By Ryan Wheatley