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Immigration provisions come into force

This month, some of the employment-related parts of the Immigration Act will begin to apply. The main points to be aware of are that from 12 July:

  • It will be a criminal offence for a person to work when he or she reasonably believes that their immigration status prevents them from doing so.
  • Employers of illegal workers could be convicted if they had reasonable cause to believe that the employee’s immigration status was a bar to them working. This extends the previous offence of knowingly employing an illegal migrant. A maximum prison sentence of five years could be imposed, and a fine. In some circumstances, the business could be closed down for up to 48 hours.

So check, on an ongoing basis, that your workers have the right to work in the UK, and keep good records. Make sure, too, that those within your business who are involved in recruiting people to work for you know what’s expected of them, and that they understand the severity of getting this wrong.