Company directors face disqualification under new illegal worker proposals

Company directors could be disqualified if they are found guilty of employing illegal immigrants on two separate occasions, under controversial new government plans.

The “two strikes and you’re out” rule being considered by home secretary John Reid will be part of new immigration proposals that are to be published by the government this week.

The plans are chiefly aimed at ‘rogue employers’, such as those who employed the 21 cockle-pickers who drowned at Morecambe Bay in 2004.

However, Richard Lambert, director general at the CBI, said companies were already doing everything they could to comply with immigration rules.

“Any headline-grabbing new initiative designed to crack down on illegal workers must be carefully considered,” he said.

“Responsible companies already make extensive checks to ensure they do not employ illegal workers, but lax government policies in this area and the hard-to-detect fake documents make this very difficult.”

Immigration minister Tony McNulty said no decisions had been taken yet on whether disqualification would be part of the plans, which also include an overhaul of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate.

Some UK companies are actively looking to employ immigrant labour in an attempt to fill skills in their workforces.

Statistics last month from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development showed 15% of companies were actively looking abroad for staff.


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