On several occasions, The Licensing Guys have been called upon to represent business owners who have been caught employing illegal workers. This is not only a criminal offence for which you can receive 5 years imprisonment and/or ‘unlimited’ fines. You can also get a Civil penalty notice (a bit like a parking ticket) of up to £20,000 for EACH illegal worker found at your premises.
Whatever the outcome of any criminal investigation, being caught with illegal workers in your business will also result in a Premises Licence Review (see page 11) as the employment of illegal workers is defined as ‘serious’ in the Government’s Statutory Guidance on Licensing. These measures are part of the Government’s intention to make the UK a ‘hostile environment’ to illegal immigrants and overstayers.
Being an illegal worker essentially means that your employee has NO RIGHT TO WORK in the UK. This comes about through the worker:
- Having no permission (aka ‘leave’) to enter OR remain in the UK
- That permission (aka ‘leave’) has expired
- They are prevented from doing certain types of work
- The papers they are using are incorrect or in some other way false.
Immigration Enforcement Officers often accompany their other partner enforcement agency colleagues on Multi-Agency Premises Inspections (see page 12). Anybody they find in breach of the above bulleted list, or they suspect of being in breach, will be detained and taken away.
So, you WILL be in deep trouble if you either employ illegal workers or you do not check proper checks or do not check their paperwork properly.
NB It is not an excuse to claim that you were not employing a worker because you were not paying them or that they were only on a trial to see if they were good workers and you wanted to take them on permanently. If they are working in your business, paid or otherwise, then they are employed for the purposes of this legislation.
The Licensing Guys can help protect you.
✅ You can download our Employer’s Checklist for free from the TLG Vault. We will even check the immigration paperwork for you if required.
✅ The Licensing Guys will represent you at any Premises Licence Review arising from breaches of the Immigration legislation.