Latest update on the United Kingdom’s immigration Act 2016
New regulations come into force from 12 July 2016 as a result of the Immigration Act 2016. Employers who hire illegal workers and individuals who pursue or acquire employment who do not have the proper permission to do so will face criminal liability.Employers who are discovered to have employed an illegal worker will face criminal sanctions if the employer had “reasonable cause to believe” that their worker was illegal.
Punishment for the offence may be a custodial sentence of up to five years. Employers additionally can be fined up to £20,000 for each illegal worker that is employed.
Individuals who are found to be working illegally will face criminal prosecution and can be sentenced to up to six months in prison. Powers from the Proceeds of Crime Act allow any earnings to be seized that were not entitled to be paid due to illegal workers absence of permission.
A new position of Director of Labour Market Enforcement (DMLE) has been created whose responsibilities will be to manage and organise the enforcement of worker exploitation legislation by the Gangmasters Licensing Authority, HMRC and the Employment Agency Standards Expectorate. Whilst the DMLE will not be accountable for immigration breaches their remit will stretch to breaches in the labour market.