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The government has put forward new measures which could see businesses closed down for up to 48 hours whilst investigations in relation to illegal workers are carried out, which we reported in VWV's previous update.
The forthcoming Immigration Bill will also provide that takeaway restaurants, pubs and off-licences could lose their licenses if they employ illegal workers. The government intends to make it easier to prosecute businesses using illegal workers by placing the evidential burden on employers to show they have carried out proper checks before taking on new staff. The maximum sentence for convicted employers is to increase from two to five years, in addition to the existing financial penalties already in force.
The Immigration Bill will also create a new criminal offence of 'illegal working'. Anyone found guilty of working illegally could face up to six months in prison, an unlimited fine and have their wages seized.
These tough new measures are part of the government crackdown on illegal workers. An an employer, you will need to ensure all your employees have the right to work in the UK and that your recruitment procedures stand up to scrutiny. VWV's immigration lawyers can provide specialist advice to assist in identifying the risks to your business and ensure appropriate records are kept.
VWV will be providing further updates on this once the Bill has been published.