Fines for employing illegal workers to triple to £60,000 from early 2024

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Fines for employing illegal workers to triple to £60,000 from early 2024

Published 11 septiembre 2023

The Government has announced that it will be increasing the maximum Civil Penalty for employing illegal workers from £20,000 to £60,000 per illegal worker, and that it will further link employing illegal workers to sponsor licences.


Employers should be aware that a Civil Penalty is payable not just if the employee has no right to work, but also if they are not working in accordance with their visa. For example, if a student, with the right to work for 20 hours per week in term times, works more than those hours, the employer is liable to a penalty.

The good news is that with full compliance of the Code of Practice, employers will always have a full defence against a Civil Penalty. However, the Code of Practice needs to be followed to the letter, as even small errors can result in large fines.

In addition to increasing the Civil Penalty amount, the government has stated that it will take action against sponsor licence holders who employ illegal workers. Currently the sponsor licence scheme requires employers to be fully compliant with immigration law, so the principle is not new. It appears however that the government is intending to take enforcement action, such as revoking sponsor licences, where illegal workers are employed.


There is as yet no date for the implementation of these changes and no further details. Nevertheless, employers should take immediate action to ensure right to work checks are robust to avoid large Civil Penalties in 2024.  

We are hosting a Right to work check Civil Penalties webinar on 13 September. Please click here to RSVP, and we hope to see you there.


Hilary Larter

Hilary Larter


+44 (0)113 251 4710

Ceri Fuller

Ceri Fuller

London - Walbrook

+44 (0)20 7894 6583

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