The Immigration Act 2016 became law on 12 May 2016, with the first set of measures coming into effect on 12 July 2016.
Under the act, changes focus on increasing penalties for employing an illegal worker. Employers must still make sure that staff have the right to work in the UK by carrying out necessary checks and keeping appropriate records.
- The maximum custodial sentence for an employer increases from two to five years.
- The civil penalty per illegal worker rises to £20,000.
- Illegal working will be a criminal offence, as migrants face a maximum custodial sentence of six months and/or an unlimited fine (in England and Wales).
- Wages paid to an illegal immigrant will be recoverable under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
- In certain circumstances, immigration officers will now have the power to close an organisation for up to 48 hours or place it under special compliance measures where the organisation is suspected of employing an illegal worker (this may be cancelled if the employer is able to demonstrate the appropriate employment checks have been carried out and reasonable steps have been taken to prevent illegal working).
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