Blunkett announces changes to cut number of illegal workers

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secretary David Blunkett has announced changes to the law that will make it
easier to prosecute companies employing illegal workers.

Under
the new regulations, which come into force on 1 May and amend the Immigration
and Asylum Act 1996, the Government also plans to strengthen border controls
and increase enforcement activity to tackle the organised criminal networks who
bring illegal workers to the UK.

The
Government is to offer new guidelines to employers to clarify which documents
they will need to prove their employees are entitled to work in the UK.

A
number of documents which have been exploited by forgers will no longer provide
a defence against prosecution for illegal employment.

The
Government is also considering whether to increase the penalty for employing
illegal workers to act as a deterrent.

Blunkett
said the change would help legitimate businesses to keep on the right side of
the law and make it easier to prosecute those employing illegal workers.

"Companies
need to continue to play their part, and make proper checks on workers,"
he said.

By Michael Millar

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