The Government is raising the stakes in its crackdown on illegal working today, introducing new penalties for employers who give jobs to undocumented migrants.
Immigration minister James Brokenshire will say: “Illegal workers will face the prospect of a prison term and rogue employers could have their businesses closed, have their licences removed, or face prosecution if they continue to flout the law.”
“Using illegal labour exploits workers, denies work to UK citizens and legal migrants and drives down wages,” he will say, adding that new powers in the forthcoming immigration bill will “make it easier to prosecute an employer who knows, or reasonably suspects, that the person they employ has no permission to work in the UK”.
The bill proposes closing businesses found to be employing illegal migrants, possibly for up to 48 hours, while they prove right to work checks have been conducted on staff.
The Home Office has also said that under the new legislation, any pub, off-licence or late-night takeaway that fails to comply with immigration laws or employs illegal workers could be stripped of its licence to operate.