Paying the penalty for immigrants

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CAUGHT: An illegal worker is removed from a business by UKBA officers.

CAUGHT: An illegal worker is removed from a business by UKBA officers.

Asian businesses in Yorkshire paid almost £100,000 in penalties for employing illegal workers during the summer months of last year, a report has revealed.

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) imposed a number of fines on 16 establishments between 1st July and 30th September, 2011.

The maximum penalty for the employer is £10,000 per illegal worker and may be liable to imprisonment if they are convicted on indictment.

Figures show that £99,500 was forked out by Asian firms in the region in just three months.

The owner of a fast food chain in Rotherham was issued with a £15,000 penalty, one of the highest in Yorkshire, the North- East and Humberside.

Employers are given strict guidelines to follow when taking on migrant workers, requesting them to make the necessary document checks to avoid criminalising themselves.

A statement from UKBA said: “Illegal working has damaging social and economic consequences for the UK. It undercuts businesses that operate within the law, undercuts British workers, and exploits migrant workers.

“As long as there are job opportunities for illegal workers, the UK will be an attractive place for illegal migrants. This government works with UK employers to ensure they take their responsibility of avoiding employing illegal workers seriously.”

Business owners are entitled to appeal any cases made against them, but they must prove that they checked all the documents of the worker in question, acknowledged any warnings issued by the authorities and co-operated with UKBA.

The Government has imposed an immigration cap of 20,700 non-EU migrant workers coming to Britain under Tier 2 of the visa system, which some companies believe has damaged business but there is little evidence of this.

The limit does not apply to multinational companies transferring workers from overseas departments to British offices, although strict conditions apply to who has the right to stay in the UK for long periods of time.

During July 1st and September 30th last year 9,706 Tier 2 migrant workers came to the UK, including general workers, ministers of religion, sportspeople and work permit holders.

Immigration Minster, Damian Green, was recently quoted as saying migrants must “add to the quality of life in Britain.” The Tory MP also said that he wanted to redefine the “pointsbased system” as a “contribution-based system.”


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