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 January and 31 March 2018 (“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.


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 £70,000 (the latter penalty being imposed to a company in Buckinghamshire). To access UKVI’s quarterly report, please click here.

These figures are a further reminder to employers that UKVI are clamping down on illegal working and this remains central to the government’s hostile environment policy. As employers have a responsibility to undertake right to work checks, they should not remain complacent and it is recommended that routine checks are undertaken in relation to their workforce. For sponsor licence holders, this is particularly important in light of the recent sponsorship transparency data that the government published which confirmed that unannounced visits to Tier 2 sponsors was up in Q2 2018 compared to the previous Q1 2018.

The Immigration team at Bates Wells Braithwaite has extensive experience in carrying out immigration audits and advising on corporate risk in relation to suspected illegal workers. If you would like to discuss any of the issues raised in this article, please contact Chetal Patel, a Partner 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 September 12, 2018.