The Government has published a consultation on proposals to strengthen and simplify the current civil penalty scheme, which is aimed at preventing migrants from working in the UK illegally.

Since 1997 all employers have had to check that their employees have the right to work in the UK prior to starting work and, since 2008, this has been underpinned by severe penalties for those who employ illegal migrants. The Government plans to introduce tougher civil penalties on employers who continue to employ illegal workers, by increasing the maximum penalty from £10,000 to £20,000 per illegal worker for those who repeatedly break the rules.

At the same time the Government is looking at ways of reducing the administrative costs of conducting right-to-work checks, for example by reducing the list of acceptable documents that provide employers with a statutory excuse.  

You can have your say on the proposals by completing the short online survey at this link. The consultation closes on 20 August 2013 and the reforms are expected to be included in the Immigration Bill later this year and introduced in early 2014.