The Government's control over illegal migration will be
further strengthened this week when the Immigration Act 2016 comes
into force. The Act (passed before June's referendum)
introduces a range of new powers which aim to tackle illegal
employment, restrict banking and accommodation services to illegal
migrants and increase the number of deportations from the UK.
Employers should be aware of the following changes which will be
implemented from 12 July 2016:
It will be an offence to employ a person whom an employer
'knows' or 'has reasonable cause to believe' is
disqualified from employment'.
The maximum custodial sentence for conviction of this offence
will be 5 years' imprisonment.
Illegal workers may also be subject to a custodial sentence of
6 months and/or a fine.
A new role of Director of Labour Market Enforcement is planned
to oversee the enforcement agencies and ensure minimum standards
for workers are met.
The Act foresees a number of other changes in respect of which
implementation dates are awaited. These include:
The introduction of a new 'immigration skills charge'
on certain employers who sponsor skilled workers from outside the
EEA. It is anticipated that this could come into force in April
A duty on public authorities to ensure that each person who
works for a public authority in a customer-facing role speaks
fluent English (and/or Welsh where appropriate). A code of practice
will be published to help authorities comply with this duty.
New powers to close premises for up to 48 hours to deal with
employers who employ illegal workers and evade sanctions.
In light of the civil and criminal sanctions for businesses
including the prosecution of directors and senior managers, it is
essential that strict policies and procedures are in place to
prevent illegal working both at the stage of recruitment and
In future, it may be that restrictions are imposed on European
nationals working in the UK. Now may be a good time to audit
systems not only to ensure compliance with immigration law but also
to understand the demographic of the workforce and the potential
impact of Brexit.
Hazel regularly advises on business immigration issues and can
assist in drafting policies and procedures and undertaking audits
to minimise the risk of penalties arising.
The material contained in this article is of the nature of
general comment only and does not give advice on any particular
matter. Recipients should not act on the basis of the information
in this e-update without taking appropriate professional advice
upon their own particular circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
March 1, 2017 - Federal immigration authorities conducted the 6th round of invitations under Express Entry in 2017 inviting 3884 candidates for permanent residence. The lowest CRS score was a record 434...
March 9th - Skilled workers will receive their Canada work permits and Canada visa applications processed within two weeks beginning June 12, 2017 as part of a new Global Talent Stream in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
January 25, 2017 - Federal immigration authorities conducted the 3rd round of invitations under Express Entry in 2017 and 53rd overall, inviting 3508 candidates for permanent residence, the largest to-date. The lowest CRS score was 453, a continuing trend of decline from previous draws.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).