As hysteria continues over Brexit, a leading law firm has warned businesses about hefty penalties they will face for employing illegal migrants when new legislation begins next month.
The Immigration Act 2016 – agreed by parliament before the referendum - comes into force on 12 July 2016.
It will not only increase the penalties for employers who employ illegal migrants, but also make it a criminal offence to employ a person if there is “reasonable cause” to believe they are an illegal worker.
Paula Bailey, Employment Law Partner with Howes Percival said: “This new law will make it harder for people to live and work illegally in the UK. The regulations will also impose tougher penalties and sanctions on employers who exploit illegal migrants for their own gain.”
Immigration Enforcement issued 1,974 civil penalties to businesses employing illegal workers In the financial year 2014/2015
Paula said: “In light of the increased penalties employers should ensure that extra care is taken to ensure that the proper right to work due diligence checks are carried out prior to engaging workers.”
The Act will create a new offence of illegal working and enable the earnings of illegal workers to be seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
It also requires public authorities to ensure that public workers in customer-facing roles speak fluent English, say Howes Percival.