Civil Penalty for Illegal Employment
As an employer, you have a responsibility to prevent illegal working in the UK by ensuring that your employees have the right to work here. If you are found employing an illegal worker, you may be issued with a notice to consider your liability for a civil penalty for breaching section 15 of the Act.
We understand that a Civil Penalty can be complex, expensive and damaging for business’s reputation. We pride ourselves on being approachable and proactive in understanding and meeting our clients’ needs. We ensure that our clients do not get into a position where they are issued a civil penalty. However, if the employer is issued with a civil penalty then using the services of an immigration expert are highly recommended
What is a Civil Penalty process:
If the Home Office determines that the correct right to work checks were not carried out, the employer may be issued with a ‘Referral Notice’. As a result of this process the employer may receive one of the following notices:
- Civil Penalty Notice
- Warning Notice
- No Action Notice
Penalty for employing illegal workers:
Where the employer has employed illegal workers within the previous three years the penalty starts at £20,000 per illegal worker.
In all other cases, the penalty starts at £15,000 per illegal worker.
You may be sent to jail for 5 years and pay an unlimited fine if you are found guilty of employing someone who you knew or had ‘reasonable cause to believe’ did not have the right to work in the UK.
Determining the Civil Penalty amount:
To determine the civil penalty amount the Home Office will apply the following mitigating factors in every case:
- Mitigating factor 1—has the employer already reported a suspected illegal worker to the Home Office and received a unique reference number?
- Mitigating factor 2—has the employer actively cooperated with the Home Office?
- Mitigating factor 3—has the employer got effective document checking practices in place and generally complies with employer duties to prevent illegal working?
Employers will only qualify for reductions if they can provide evidence that they have met the mitigating factors. Each mitigating factor will result in a reduction of the penalty by £5,000 per worker.
How to challenge a civil penalty:
An employer must object to the Home Office in writing within 28 days of the civil penalty notice being issued. The employer can object on the following three bases:
- there is no liability at all
- the employer has a statutory excuse against liability with the prescribed requirements as set out in the regulations, and
- the amount of the penalty is too high
The employer can also appeal to the Court against the Home Office decision however one must go through the objection process before appealing, unless the appeal relates to a civil penalty issued in respect of a Croatian national, in which case an appeal may proceed directly.
The employer may appeal within a strict 28 calendar-day period to the County Court in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, or to the Sheriff Court in Scotland.
What is the impact of a Civil Penalty?
Where a civil penalty is issued and upheld this can have a range of adverse consequences for an employer such as:
- An adverse impact on an individual’s ability to obtain future credit and act in the capacity of a director in a company
- A civil penalty will be recorded on the Home Office’s systems and if the employer is subject to immigration control that may impact any future immigration applications
- The employer’s sponsor licence may be suspended, and their Certificate of Sponsorship allocation removed pending investigation
- Reputational damage
How can we help if you are issued with a referral notice or a civil penalty
At Aaryan Solicitors, team of our immigration law specialists’ can offer advice and assistance with submitting the necessary information to the Home Office at every stage of the civil penalty process. We can also guide you whether you are able to establish a statutory excuse.
Why Choose Aaryan Solicitors?
Expert Immigration team: Aaryan Solicitors has a team of expertUK immigration and family visa solicitors who can provide you legal advice and assistance with your civil penalty matter. Headed by partner Vikramjit Singh, an acknowledged immigration law specialist and champion of those whose status here is challenged., we have a track record of successfully pushing through applications efficiently and cost-effectively. Contact us for case assessment, eligibility requirements and supporting documents.
Competitive Prices: We offer a competitive price service without compromising on our service. Our reputation outshines other, larger immigration law firms in London and across the country.
Excellent Success Rate: : Every matter we deal with is thoroughly researched. As a result, our success rate is high. We pride in our highest standard of service as a result of which most of our clients return to us for their other legal matters.
Out of office hour unique service: We provide clients focused service keeping in consideration busy working lifestyle therefore out of office telephone and/or in person appointments are available, subject to prior bookings, from 6.00 pm to 8.30 pm weekdays, and on weekends and bank holidays.
To seek assistance with your civil penalty UK, get in touch with Aaryan Solicitors for professional, no-obligation advice.