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Illegal Working Civil Penalties Increase

Published 12 April 2024

The Home Office has published an updated Code of Practice for the Right to Work Scheme, which will come into force on 13th February 2024, bringing with it a significant increase to civil penalties for employers.

All employers have a duty to prevent individuals without lawful immigration status from working in the UK – this Code of Practice details the prescribed checks that employers should conduct to avoid a civil penalty in the event of illegal working.

This document also details how the Home Office determines the value of the civil penalty in cases where illegal working is identified.

The uplift to the civil penalty levels has passed through the parliamentary process and is now concluded. The main changes mark the introduction of the new civil penalty levels for employers on 13th February 2024.

The civil penalty for employers will be raised to £45,000 per illegal worker for a first breach and £60,000 per illegal worker for repeat breaches.

This version of the Code of Practice will be applied to all right-to-work checks from 13th February 2024 onwards, including where a follow-up check is required to maintain a statutory excuse, even if the initial check was undertaken using a previous version of the Code which was current at the time.

If you’re an employer looking for guidance on right-to-work checks, illegal working penalties or international immigration, speak to the experts at Five Star.

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