Changes to the Immigration Act 2016

Changes to the Immigration Act 2016 include the criminal offence of employing an illegal worker from 12th July.

Under the Act the definition of what constitutes an offence is changing so that the employer “must have reasonable cause to believe the employee is disqualified from employment.”

The Government factsheet produced in relation to the  Immigration Act states that the test is more objective and will “make it easier to prove the offence.”

Another significant change is that convicted employers face a maximum prison sentence of 5 years, increased from 2 years.

Clearly this is an effort by the Government to crack down on employers who are employing illegal workers. Turning a blind eye is a risky strategy for any employer. You must carry out the necessary checks regarding all employees to be satisfied that they are entitled to work in this country.  Of course what will happen after the 23rd June remains to be seen!

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