Increase in civil penalties for employers found to have employed illegal workers
The government has announced plans to triple the maximum fine it can impose on employers who are found to have employed a person who does not have the right to work in the UK. Increased penalties are set to commence in early 2024. Fines for employers who employ illegal workers will increase from £15,000 to £45,000 for a first offence and from £20,000 to £60,000 per breach for repeat offenders.
Employers could also face criminal penalties if they knowingly employ someone who does not have the right to work in the UK.
The risk of criminal liability coupled with the substantial increase in the level of fines payable means that employers should be more focused than ever on making sure that their right to work checks are fit for purpose and accord with all legal requirements.