ArticleUK firms heavily fined for hiring illegal workers

In recent news reported by the BBC, two construction firms in the UK, FP McCann and Adana Construction, have been hit with substantial fines for employing illegal workers. This enforcement action by the Home Office highlights the growing concern over illegal working and its broader implications on society and the economy.

The operation, executed in response to public concerns, led to the arrest of 13 subcontracted labourers and steel fixers at Shotton Mill in North Wales, which is currently undergoing conversion into a containerboard factory. FP McCann, a Magherafelt-based concrete supplier, and Adana Construction from Stockport are now facing fines of up to £225,000 and £180,000, respectively.

Understanding the Civil Penalty System

The civil penalty process for illegal employment has been a key tool for the UK government in tackling illegal work. Following the site raid and a thorough review of company records, both firms were issued civil penalty referral notices. These notices are the first step in the civil penalty process and are given when officials identify illegal workers without any statutory excuse for their employment.

Companies can respond to these notices by providing additional evidence to be considered when determining liability and the penalty amount. These fines can be contested in court if necessary.

Increased Fines for Illegal Employment

The seriousness of employing illegal workers is reflected in the revised penalty regime. In February, the UK government increased the maximum civil penalty for a first breach from £15,000 per worker to a significant £45,000 per worker. This increase serves as a stern warning and a deterrent to businesses considering or currently employing illegal workers.

HM Inspector Ryan Moore emphasised the detrimental effects of illegal working, highlighting risks to vulnerable individuals, community harm, public fund fraud, and the unfair competitive advantage over law-abiding employers and job seekers. The successful operation at Shotton Mill is a testament to the Home Office’s commitment to addressing these concerns.

The case of FP McCann and Adana Construction serves as a significant reminder to all UK employers of the importance of compliance with immigration laws. The heightened penalties indicate a stricter enforcement environment, urging companies to verify the legal status of their employees diligently. As the UK continues to refine its immigration policies, businesses must remain vigilant and proactive in their employment practices to avoid hefty fines and legal complications.

Get in touch:  For a comprehensive understanding of your options or queries on UK immigration matters, contact GigaLegal Solicitors at 02074067654 or click here to book a no-obligation consultation with an immigration expert.