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  • Writer's pictureKareena Prescott

Illegal Worker Fines Surge: What UK Employers Must Know

Employee's Right to Work

The UK Government has announced a significant rise in the penalties employers will face for hiring illegal workers, a move that underscores the government's stringent stance on illegal employment practices.

From 13 February 2024, the fines for employers found to be non-compliant with the new code of practice will see a substantial increase:

  • The maximum fine per illegal worker will rise from £20,000 to an unprecedented £60,000.

  • A first-time offence penalty, previously £15,000, will increase to £45,000.

These changes follow the release of the updated code of practice: Preventing Illegal Working: Right to Work Scheme for Employers, published on 23 January 2024. The document is available on the GOV.UK website, and rapidly comes into effect on 13th February 2024.

In light of these changes, it's imperative for employers to reassess their workforce compliance strategies. LMP Legal advises employers to take immediate steps to audit their employee records and reviewing their Right to Work checking policies and procedures. Ensuring compliance is not just about avoiding hefty fines; it's also about maintaining the integrity and reputation of your business.

Start safeguarding your business:

  1. Conduct a Comprehensive Audit: Review your current workforce to ensure all employees have the right to work in the UK.

  2. Update Checking Procedures: Align your Right to Work checking process with the latest guidelines.

  3. Staff Training: Ensure your HR team is well-informed about the changes and capable of implementing them effectively.

  4. Seek Legal Advice: Understanding the complexities of immigration law is vital. LMP Legal can provide expert guidance to navigate these changes smoothly.

The increase in penalties is a clear signal from the government about the seriousness of employing illegal workers. As an employer, staying informed and compliant is crucial.

For expert legal advice tailored to your business, or to learn more about how we can assist you in staying compliant with the Right to Work regulations, please reach out to us at kareena@lmplegal.co.uk to arrange a free consultation.


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