Record high fines for those who employ or rent properties to illegal migrants in new crackdown

Record high fines for those who employ or rent properties to illegal migrants in new crackdown

Matt Goodwin says British public has every right to be angry about migrant crisis

GB News
Mark White

By Mark White


Published: 13/02/2024

- 11:00

This is the biggest rise in more than a decade

Employers and landlords, who allow illegal immigrants to work for them or rent their properties, are facing much tougher penalties from today.

In the biggest rise in more than a decade, fines for rogue businesses employing undocumented migrants have tripled.


From today, the civil penalty for a company hiring an illegal migrant has risen to a maximum of £45,000 for each worker for a first breach, up from £15,000.

That fine could increase to £60,000 for repeat breaches, up from £20,000.

Migrants getting off boat with inset of cash

The civil penalty for a company hiring an illegal migrant has risen to a maximum of £45,000 for each worker for a first breach, up from £15,000

PA/GETTY

Landlords now also face increased penalties of £5,000 per lodger and £10,000 each occupier for a first breach.

That's up from £80 and £1,000. Repeat breaches have risen to £10,000 for each lodger and £20,000 for an occupier, up from £500 and £3,000 respectively.

Ministers believe the crackdown will help reduce the pull factor for migrants considering crossing into the UK illegally, by making the chance of employment and accommodation much harder.

Since the start of 2018, more than 6,000 civil penalties have been issued to employers, totalling £105 million.

Landlords have also been hit with over 400 civil penalties worth a total of more than £330,000 in the same period.

The number of fines being issued has increased significantly, with 1,471 penalties issued to employers in the first 11 months of last year.

Immigration Enforcement raids have also increased right across the UK.

LATEST DEVELOPMENTS:

Michael Tomlinson

Illegal Migration Minister Michael Tomlinson said: "We are making great strides in our work to dismantle the business model of the evil people smugglers"

PA

January to September last year, saw a 68 per cent rise in the number of proactive raids against businesses suspected of employing undocumented workers.

Illegal Migration Minister Michael Tomlinson said: "We are making great strides in our work to dismantle the business model of the evil people smugglers.

"But rogue employers and landlords who willingly allow illegal migrants to work for them and rent their properties undermine our efforts. It’s an affront to honest, hard-working people who play by the rules.

“Illegal working enforcement visits ramped up by nearly 70 per cent last year. By robustly cracking down on those who facilitate these illegal practices, we are providing a vital deterrent against making dangerous and unnecessary journeys to the UK.

"Carrying out the appropriate checks is simple, straightforward and a legal requirement – there is no excuse and those who don’t will face these stringent penalties.”

Ministers say the tougher approach towards illegal migration into the UK is beginning to work, with the number of individuals arriving by small boats down 36 per cent last year.

Human rights groups and many immigration lawyers have voiced concern that hike in fines will impact adversely on smaller businesses and do little to tackle more organised illegal working.

Immigration lawyer Emma Brooksbank told GB News: "We’ll-meaning small businesses will soon find themselves falling foul of the regime through a lack of understanding of the process or because of a small error, rather than through any ill-intent.

"The Home Office's own transparency data shows enforcement has thus far focus on independent businesses like restaurants, car washes and nail bars, where officers may have identified a single worker.

"This approach has so far failed to tackle organised illegak working, which is being fed by people smugglers, and contributing to small boat crossings.

There are no official figures for the number of migrants working illegal economy.

But some estimates have put that figure higher than one-and-a-half million.

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