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In the second half of 2015 alone, the Home Office issued 1,217 illegal working civil penalties to businesses, equating to £21.6 million in fines. Civil penalties have now become a prized revenue stream for the Home Office and, as immigration solicitor Anne Morris explains, it seems as though it is large employers that are increasingly footing the bill.
Corporate HR under the spotlight
When the points-based system for immigration was introduced in 2008, the Home Office initially focused its enforcement efforts on low-hanging fruit, such as restaurants and takeaways.
In recent months, however, we have noticed a growing trend in our caseload of large, respected corporate organisations being targeted by the Home Office for breaches of their immigration duties.
Larger employers may feel confident that their HR systems are fully compliant and that they are not employing anybody illegally. However, these firms are being sought out, and caught out, by the Home Office, and they face fines of up to £20,000 per illegal employee.