Immigration for employers – the cost of getting
Under the new Points Based System, employers are responsible for helping to prevent illegal working in the UK.
An employer must now be licensed as a sponsor to recruit someone from outside the European Economic Area (EAA) who requires permission to work. You must also be licensed to support a non-EEA national in an application to continue employment. In addition you are responsible for making sure your employees comply with their immigration conditions, by keeping records and reporting any changes to the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).
The Government has described the Points Based System as "the biggest shake up of the immigration systems for 45 years".
Because the system is highly process-driven, even small errors or omissions can lead to applications being delayed or refused and licences being downgraded or withdrawn.
As of 29 February 2008, if you employ someone who is subject to immigration control and not entitled to work, you stand to pay a civil penalty of up to £10,000 per illegal worker. Between May and December 2008 the penalties issued to employers totalled more than £11 million.
Both the Ministry of Justice and the Cabinet Office have been reported as employing illegal workers.
In September 2009, the Government's top law officer – the Attorney General, Baroness Scotland – had to pay a penalty of £5,000 and issue an apology after she was found to be employing an illegal worker from Tonga as a housekeeper.
The chief executive of the UKBA, Lin Homer, commented, "This case serves to remind all employers that they are responsible not only for checking the immigration status of their staff but for retaining proof of the documents checked".
To raise awareness of the consequences of employing illegal workers, the UKVI now actively publicises cases of infringement. The damage to your organisation’s reputation could well prove much harsher than the financial penalty.
The problem is that many companies don’t know they’re doing anything wrong until they find themselves being penalised.
How can we help?
Independent immigration audits
Our expert consultants are ex-Home Office staff, with many years’ experience of visiting companies to identify illegal workers. We now apply this expertise to helping companies reduce their risk of being penalised.
We can carry out an independent immigration audit of your employees, providing a detached, objective view that can rarely be achieved in-house. The pressures of day-to-day business can easily result in an employee’s immigration position being overlooked. It’s not unusual for us to identify problems with long-standing employees, whose status has never been questioned.
We’ll check the files of each of your employees to confirm that they’re entitled to work in the UK. We’ll also ensure that your processes and record-keeping are adequate to meet your responsibilities as a sponsor.
Click here to provide a brief outline of your issues and we will contact you with an estimated cost within 24 hours.
For education providers, we also offer immigration audits of students. Click here to find out more.
Our aim is to minimise the resources your organisation needs to dedicate to dealing with immigration issues. In addition to immigration audits, we offer a comprehensive range of services, which we can tailor to suit your particular requirements:
- Advice and support in applying or reapplying for a sponsor licence, or upgrading from B to A rating.
- Acting as your representative (Level 1 or Level 2 user) under the sponsorship management system.
- Advice on recruiting and retaining non-EEA nationals.
- Site visits, workshops and training, including right to work, document examination and sponsorship under Tier 2/5.
- Ongoing support by telephone or email, including commenting on an individual’s status and documents.
- Updates on relevant changes to immigration law, to ensure your continuing compliance.
The Points Based System was designed to be straightforward and transparent. However, in practice, many of our clients have found dealing with it to be time-consuming and a distraction from their day to day business.
We have the knowledge and experience to deal with immigration matters quickly and efficiently, saving you and your staff time and stress.
CLICK HERE FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON THE SERVICES WE OFFER TO EMPLOYERS ON OUR DEDICATED WEBSITE www.HRIMMIGRATION.co.uk
Take the stress out of immigration
Contact us today to arrange a consultation or for a quotation