You can be fined up to £10,000 per worker for employing illegal workers.
You can be prosecuted for employing illegal workers, including:
- students with expired visas, or students working more hours than they’re allowed to
- people on a visitor’s visa
You will receive a ‘notification of potential liability’. You may then be issued a ‘notification of liability’ and a fine (‘civil penalty’) of up to £10,000 for each illegal worker.
When to pay
You have 28 days to do one of these:
- pay the fine in full
- ask to pay in monthly instalments (the notification will tell you how to do this)
- appeal against the civil penalty to the UK Border Agency - the notification will tell you how to do this
- lodge an appeal to the county court (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) or the Sheriff’s court (Scotland) - the notification will tell you how to do this
Your business’s details may also be published by the UK Border Agency as a warning to other businesses not to employ illegal workers.
If you knowingly employ an illegal worker, you can also go to jail for up to 2 years and receive an unlimited fine.
Call the UK Border Agency Employers’ helpline for help with making sure your employees are entitled to work in the UK.
UK Border Agency Employers’ helpline
0300 123 4699
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