The Home Office announced that increased fines for employers and landlords who employ or rent to illegal migrants will take effect Feb. 13.

Key Points:

  • As BAL previously reported, the increased fines were previously announced in August 2023.
  • The civil penalties for employers will triple, going from £15,000 to £45,000 per illegal worker for a first offense, and from £20,000 to £60,000 for repeat offenses.
  • Landlords will face a much greater increase in fines, going from £80 to £5,000 per lodger and from £1,000 to £10,000 per occupier on first offense, with amounts doubling on repeat offenses.

Background: The increased fines represent the largest increase in civil penalties since 2014. The measure is designed to identify and reduce illegal migration and ensure only those eligible are able to work and receive benefits or access public services. Since the start of 2018, almost 5,000 civil penalties have been issued to employers with a total value of £88.4 million.

BAL Analysis: The Home Office encouraged all employers and landlords to verify the eligibility of anyone they employ or to whom they rent property. The U.K. immigration minister said the increased fines are intended to deter migrants from illegally crossing the English Channel by small boats. Employers should review their processes and be aware of their responsibilities and remain compliant with established rules and procedures.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice Group.

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