Employment of Illegal Immigrants – Tough measures included in draft European DirectiveMonday, February 2nd, 2009
The UK Border Agency introduced serious penalties in February 2008 for employers engaging illegal migrant workers, including a fine of up to £10,000 for each illegal worker engaged and a new criminal offence of knowingly using illegal migrant labour, punishable with a prison sentence of up to two years.
Further punitive measures are included in the draft “sanctions directive”, due for debate in the European Parliament on 19 February. The proposed measures, other than minimum wage provisions that are already in place in the UK, include:
- criminal law penalties against employers for repeat offences, where a large number of people in an irregular situation are employed, where the working conditions are exploitative, where the employee is a victim of human trafficking and this is known to the employer, or if the employee is a minor
- refunding any state aid received the previous year and a ban for up to five years from bidding for public sector contracts or from receiving state aid
- paying a sum equal to the amount of taxes and other levies that would have been paid if the worker had been employed legally and, where applicable, the cost of returning the migrant
- making contractors liable to penalties if a subcontractor employs illegal immigrants.
Europe to penalise employers of illegal immigrants
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