Fines set to rise sharply for illegal accommodation or employment of asylum seekers in UK | Immigration and asylum

People who allow asylum seekers to work for them or rent their properties in breach of the law will face significantly increased fines from next year as ministers try to reduce ‘risk factors’ attraction” for people making small boat crossings.

Landlords who take in a tenant for the first time without legal immigration status could be forced to pay £5,000 – a considerable increase on the existing maximum fine of £80. If they are found to be hosting multiple first-time occupants, they could face a fine of £10,000 for each occupant, a steep increase from the maximum fine of £1,000 imposed when the civil penalties were introduced in 2014.

Employers will face initial fines of up to £45,000 for each worker without legal immigration status under the new plans, up from £15,000 previously. Ahead of the new fines taking effect in early 2024, the Home Office will launch a consultation on actions that could be strengthened to deter licensed businesses from employing workers without legal immigration status.

The heaviest fines have been imposed by the government’s immigration task force, which was launched earlier this year to roll out what some Home Office insiders at the time called a “back to school”. ‘hostile environment’, although the government has rejected such characterizations.

The task force assessed whether to tighten immigration controls on housing and the labor market. It is understood officials wanted to keep a close eye on the gig economy, which relies on casual workers, when many of them may not be eligible to stay in the UK.

Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick said: “Making it harder for illegal migrants to work and operate in the UK is essential to deter dangerous and unnecessary small boat crossings. Unscrupulous landlords and employers who allow illegal labor and rental allow the evil smugglers’ business model to continue.

“There is no excuse for not carrying out the proper checks and violators will now face much stiffer penalties.”

The Home Office says immigration enforcement activity has increased this year, with official visits targeting workers without legal immigration status rising 50% to the highest levels. high since 2019.

Shadow Immigration Minister Stephen Kinnock said: ‘Employers who illegally exploit and employ migrant workers should face the full force of the law, but the reality is that under the Tories the number of penalties imposed on companies illegally employing workers has fallen by two-thirds since 2016, arrests have fallen and illegal work visits have fallen by more than 1,000 compared to 2019.

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