Energy News – 17/03/2017
Want to know what stories are making waves in the energy industry this week? Here are the big stories from the...Read More
Employing illegal immigrants, even unwittingly, could result in five years’ jail, remarks from the immigration minister suggest. How can your business adapt?
Many SME businesses have long relied on foreign labour to fill positions UK citizens are reluctant to take. But as immigration has become an controversial political issue, employing immigrants has become ever more risky.
The forthcoming Immigration Bill is an attempt to address perceptions of the UK as a ‘soft touch’ on illegal migration.
Construction, cleaning and care have been singled out for a crackdown, although takeaway restaurants and off-licences will also be targeted with specific measures. Minicab drivers and operators have been mentioned, although it is as yet uncertain how they will be affected.
For employers, the legal situation will become a lot more hostile. Business owners will no longer be able to claim they were unaware an employee was not allowed to work. Instead, the onus is on employers to prove that they carried out proper checks on staff.
Penalties will also increase: employers found guilty could now be jailed for five years (up from two years), as well as paying the harsh fines already in force (up to £20,000 per person).
With net migration to the UK at an all-time high, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the Government’s approach to immigration will only get tougher.
All UK employers, not matter what sector, must check their workers’ Right to Work before any employee starts work. In short this means:
… but checking the Government guidelines is strongly advised. While taking professional advice is not cheap, it is likely to be a lot less costly than a £20,000 fine (and possible jail sentence)
Agency workers can help shift the burden of compliance to the supplying agency. But, with inconvenient investigations often focusing on known offenders, you should do all you can to protect yourself. Your contract should unambiguously require robust checks be carried out and that all workers have a confirmed Right to Work. Make sure you keep copies of all documents. Remember that using an agency does not remove all risk: an agency worker may legally be your employee under certain circumstances. Do your research on agencies and use one with a good reputation.
While you do not have legally have to ensure self-employed workers have a Right to Work. But unwittingly employing a self-employed illegal immigrant can have other consequences. In addition to increased scrutiny from the authorities, you may lose an important worker with no notice and suffer reputational damage. Carrying out a Right to Work check is a small price for avoiding such impacts.
Helpful, friendly and we saved lots of money!
"Jessica Purnell was helpful and friendly, she made the whole process easy and simple AND we saved lots of money thanks Jess"This review was posted by Melanie Baker on the 23rd of March 2017
Quick & Easy
"Kabibi was very helpful and the whole process was very efficient. The one small reservation I had was that I was phoned up by Kabibi almost immediately having received my online quote - which wasn't enough time for me to finish reading the quotes! Fortunately she was able to assist me in a greater savings on both Gas & Electricity, and so as long as the switchover is seamless I will remain very happy with the service."This review was posted by Amanda Brown on the 21st of March 2017
"I am very happy with Aaron's service. He has helped me save over £1000 a year on my businesses energy costs."This review was posted by R Thomas on the 21st of March 2017
So helpful and quick
"Prompt advice and help from Ashley. I hadn't realised changing energy suppliers could be so easy and quick. Thanks so much. Will definitely recommend!"This review was posted by charlotte on the 21st of March 2017
Easy and stress free
"I hate this time but f year when it's time to renew my electricity. I decided to use a comparison site this time round and never looked back. My advisor (Aaron Gallagher) was polite and knowledgable and efficiently changed my business."This review was posted by Kevin on the 21st of March 2017