Navigating the Changes: A Guide for Employers on the Enhanced Illegal Working Penalties

Navigating the Changes: A Guide for Employers on the Enhanced Illegal Working Penalties

The government have announced a series of enhancements to penalties related to illegal working, which is being implemented on 13 February 2024.  Here’s what employers need to know, including the fine amounts, and how to ensure a smooth transition.  The draft code of practice for employers, along with the updated implementation date, can be found here.

Details on fines:

  1. First offense: The fine for a first offense has been increased to a maximum £45,000.00 per illegal worker.  Employers are urged to take this opportunity to review and strengthen their right-to-work checks to avoid the imposition of a civil penalty.
  2. Repeat offenses: For repeat offenses, the penalties are even more severe.  Employers may face fines of a maximum £60,000.00 for each instance of non-compliance.  It is crucial for businesses to be diligent in their hiring practices to prevent repeat offenses.

Employer actions:

  1. Review and adjust: Employers are encouraged to review their current practices in light of the updated code.  This proactive approach allows for any necessary adjustments to be made well in advance of the implementation date.
  2. Training opportunities: Consider investing in training programs for HR personnel involved in the hiring process.  Ensuring that your team is well-versed in the latest guidelines can be instrumental in avoiding inadvertent violations.
  3. Communication: Keep the lines of communication open with employees.  Make them aware of any changes in procedures related to right-to-work checks, fostering a sense of transparency and cooperation.

How Immigration Compliance can help your business:

Our small team of consultants specialise in immigration and employment law. We help businesses conduct one off and repeat checks on individuals ensuring their business remains compliant and they have the correct governance procedures in place to provide them with a statutory excuse in the event they are audited by Home Office officials.


We are not an agency; our checks are manually completed in-house to ensure each unique case is treated individually.


We provide bespoke affordable immigration and employment consultancy to businesses to ensure Right To Work Checks are conducted according to current legislation, and we give legal advice for illegal working civil penalties, clandestine civil penalties and licensed premises reviews.

Contact us for a free no obligation discussion.

Tel: 01395 696121