Illegal workers: Employers warned as quarterly figures released

UK Visas & Immigration (“UKVI”) has published its quarterly report showing the number of civil penalties for illegal workers found in each region of the UK between 1 July and 30 September 2016 (“the specified period”).


During the specified period, the London & South East region was found to have the highest number and greatest value of penalties and the highest number of illegal workers. Please see the table below for the relevant figures.

  London & South East % of all regions in the UK
Number of penalties 359 54
Number of illegal workers found 458 54
Value of penalties issued (£)
(gross value of penalties issued)
5,475,000 53

To access UKVI’s quarterly report, please click here.

Figures published by UKVI show that the value of penalties issued during the specified period in the London & South East region ranged from £10,000 up to £75,000 (the latter penalty being imposed on a Chinese restaurant in Battersea). The penalties being issued further reinforce UKVI’s commitment to cracking down on illegal working in the UK. This coupled with the expansion of criminal liability through employing an individual illegally which was introduced by the Immigration Act 2016 in July 2016 means that employers should ensure they conduct the right to work checks correctly.

The Immigration team at Bates Wells Braithwaite regularly carry out immigration audits for clients to ascertain if they have the correct systems in place in order to avoid civil penalties being issued, provide in house training to HR personnel on conducting right to work checks and act for clients whose Sponsor Licences have been suspended or revoked.

If you would like to discuss any of the issues raised in this article, please contact Chetal Patel, a Senior Associate in the Immigration department.

This information is necessarily of a general nature and doesn’t constitute legal advice. This is not a substitute for formal legal advice, given in the context of full information under an engagement with Bates Wells.

All content on this page is correct as of March 10, 2017.