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UK Triples Fines for Hiring Migrants Without Work Permission | Dinah Wisenberg Brin

​The U.K. will triple fines for employers who hire migrants who are in the country illegally, effective early next year—a change the government calls the biggest shakeup in civil penalties in a decade.

Fines for landlords renting their properties to migrants who are in the country illegally will more than triple.

The civil penalty for employers will be raised to up to 45,000 pounds—approximately $54,557—per worker without the right to work in the U.K. for a first breach and up to 60,000 pounds—approximately $72,749—for repeat breaches, said Nelli Shevchenko, an attorney with Seyfarth in London. The previous amounts were 15,000 pounds (approximately $18,187) and 20,000 pounds (approximately $24,250), respectively.

The change affects employers of all sizes that hire migrants without permission to work in the U.K.

Proper Checks

“To avoid civil and criminal penalties, employers must ensure they have the appropriate procedures for right-to-work checks. If the company hasn’t completed a right-to-work check correctly, they won’t have a statutory excuse against a civil penalty if there ends up being a problem with an employee’s immigration permission,” Shevchenko said.

“The scale of these civil penalties, particularly from next year, can be catastrophic for a smaller business, and compliance with right-to-work checks is increasingly important. We recommend carrying out training to relevant employees involved in the hiring and onboarding processes and regular audits of…

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