Civil Penalties for employing illegal workers – what are the penalty amounts and how they are calculated

Employers found employing workers who do not have the right to work in the UK can receive a civil penalty of up to £20,000 per worker. The actual civil penalty amount for each illegal worker depends on the following factors: 

  • Whether employer have been found to be employing illegal workers within the previous three years.
  • Whether there are any mitigating factors:
    • Evidence of reporting suspected illegal workers (e.g. To qualify for this reduction you must have reported your suspicion about them to Home Office Sponsorship and Employers’ Helpline on 0300 123 5434 before illegal worker is identified);
    • Evidence of active cooperation with Home Office (e.g. responding promptly, honestly and accurately to questions asked during Immigration Enforcement visits and responding to any further requests for information by the deadline set);
    • Evidence of effective right to work checking practices together with mitigation for factors 1 and 2 listed above (this can only be applied when employer has not been found employing illegal workers within the previous three years.

Employer have NOT been found to be employing illegal workers within the previous three years

  • Maximum penalty amount and starting point for assessment is £15,000.
  • Evidence of reporting suspected illegal workers (if YES, penalty decreased by £5,000).
  • Evidence of active cooperation with Home Office (if YES, penalty decreased by £5,000).
  • Minimum penalty £5,000.
  • The fast payment option is available: the ending minimum penalty amount may be reduced by 30% to £3,500 per illegal worker.
  • Evidence of effective right to work checking practices together with mitigation for reporting suspected illegal workers and active cooperation with the Home Office. You will be issued with a warning notice. No civil penalty notice will be issued.

Employer have been found to be employing illegal workers within the previous three years

  • Maximum penalty amount and starting point for assessment is £20,000.
  • Evidence of reporting suspected illegal workers (if YES, penalty decreased by £5,000).
  • Evidence of active cooperation with Home Office (if YES, penalty decreased by £5,000).
  • Minimum penalty £10,000.
  • The fast payment option is not available.

The information contained in the article reflects legal position on 5th April 2019 and is for general information purposes only and does not aim  to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. We accept no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Carter Lemon Camerons immigration team. The specialist team at Carter Lemon Camerons Solicitors can assist you with all immigration and business-related matters. Our years of expertise in these areas mean that we can provide tailored solutions for you. For more details, please contact our immigration team at immigration@cartercamerons.com or +44 (0)20 7406 1000.