The state of renewable energy – infographic
Renewables are big business, and are increasingly viewed as commercially viable, as well as kinder to the envi...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.
"Many thanks to Anthony Pendleton, very courteous and polite, explained everything in right amount of detail and very helpful in sorting out the business utility switch. Would thoroughly recommend."This review was posted by Nicola on the 28th of November 2016
"Rachael Grindrod was excellent, very friendly and helpful."This review was posted by Maria Allen on the 29th of November 2016
"Thanks to Jonathon Burgess who was a great help switching electricity for a charitable organisation. The process was complicated and his patience was appreciated as well as his proffesional attitude. We would not have completed the process without his help. Thanks Dawn"This review was posted by Dawn Kerr on the 29th of November 2016
Great service from Rachel Grindrod. Thanks.
"Great service Rachel"This review was posted by Craig Hewett on the 30th of November 2016
Easy to Switch
"Using SwitchMyBusiness made changing electricity suppliers easy. Thank you Anthony Pendleton for your professional approach with advising on which supplier to use."This review was posted by Vanessa Gernat on the 01st of December 2016