Law 1a

What you must do - Law 1

  • The Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 established a criminal offence of knowingly employing an illegal migrant worker.  This carries the potential of an unlimited fine and/or prison sentence of up to two years.

  • The liability for the civil penalty falls upon the labour provider where it supplies temporary workers and the contract to work is between the worker and the labour provider.

  • Employers are also liable for a civil penalty of up to £10,000 per illegal worker if they employ someone who does not have the right to work in that role.

  • Employers will have a statutory excuse from this liability if they have checked and retained copies of certain original documents before an employee starts work.

  • Workers with limited leave to remain require the statutory excuse to be re-established every 12 months and before the limited leave expires.

  • Foreign students who are able to enter and reside in the UK under Tier 4 of the points-based system are restricted to 10 or 20 hours work per week during term time depending on their course.

  • Employers must not hold any workers’ documentation for longer than 1 day to carry out these checks. If a worker asks for it to be returned, you must return it immediately.

  • Employers must not racially discriminate as a means of preventing illegal working processes.

  • Employers should not use bogus self-employment as a means to use Bulgarian and Romanian workers.

Resources that can help