In another attempt to tighten the immigration rules, the Government has declared that employers who hire illegal immigrants could have their firm closed for a period of time. Takeaways and off-licences will bear an additional penalty if they are caught employing an illegal worker: they could lose their licence completely. These closures are part of the new, tougher measures to be introduced by the Immigration Bill later this year. The procedures will be available to the Government with the intention to control illegal workers.
In addition to temporary closure, employers can find themselves prosecuted with a possible sentence of five years, rather than the previous two, if they knowingly employ an illegal worker. Further to that, the changes introduced through the Immigration Act last year will still be in force. This means that a business will not only be closed or even lose its licence, but also the employer will be issued with a heavy fine ranging up to £20,000 per worker.
The consequences for immigrants, who are in the UK illegally, proposed by the Bill will be six months imprisonment. The other penalty is that they will have their wages confiscated, as they fall under the category of proceeds of a committed crime. As well as working, the Government is also planning to prevent illegal immigrants from renting accommodation, having a bank account and driving a car.