Immigration Act 2016: provisions that will affect employers.
15th June 2016
The referendum is seeing EEA clients seeking to evidence their residence before the end of June and numerous changes have come from the Immigration Act 2016 that directly affect our clients. The Act is the focus of this update.
One of the provisions that will affect employers is the creation of a new Director of Labour Market Enforcement. As the title of that role implies, the new Act is focused on enforcement and gives enhanced powers to the investigators and enforcers, immigration officers, to make that part of their role more effective.
Employees without immigration leave from July will be committing a criminal offence if working in the UK. There is also a broader definition of what is considered criminal behaviour for employers employing workers that do not have leave. Both are likely to be picked up more actively with wider powers for officials to search and seize documents. Civil penalties for erring employers, namely fines, are hefty and there is little room to mitigate them unless employers can show active steps were taken to comply.
We try to balance updates with some positive news but there is little in the Immigration Act 2016 that can be pitched that way. The lesson is - know your employees and evidence right to work for all of them.