Updates preventing illegal work: a draft code of practice from the Home Office

24 Jan 2024, 08 mins ago

The UK government is implementing new regulations in an attempt to tackle illegal employment.

The Home Office is intensifying its crackdown on illegal working in the UK with a revamped draft code of practice. Effective from 22nd January 2024, these updates serve as a stern reminder for employers to maintain stringent immigration compliance.

Illegal working poses severe consequences. Previously, employers faced a penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker. However, the updated regulations will see this penalty skyrocket, reaching up to a staggering £60,000 per illegal worker. This tripling underscores the government’s commitment to stamping out unauthorised employment.

So, how does the process unfold for employers? Should the Home Office suspect an illegal worker, they’ll initiate contact within a 10-day window, seeking evidence of the right-to-work checks performed. Depending on the findings, employers might receive a Civil Penalty Notice or a warning. However, a silver lining exists: the “statutory excuse.” If an employer can validate that they conducted proper right-to-work checks, they might evade these hefty penalties.

Nevertheless, there is a grace period. Employers facing penalties have 28 days to object, offering a detailed rationale. However, challenging the Home Office’s decision could lead to a legal battle with potential financial repercussions.

In essence, these updates necessitate rigorous compliance measures. Ensuring meticulous right-to-work checks isn’t just best practice—it’s imperative. For businesses, the stakes have never been higher, emphasising the paramount importance of adhering to these evolving regulations.

How Gherson can assist

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