Home Office has launched an operation targeting illegal working in the construction industry. ‘Operation Magnify’ will involve Home Office enforcement officers carrying out operations specifically to target those businesses in the sector which are employing and exploiting illegal migrant workers.
Immigration Minister James Brokenshire said: “Illegal working undermines legitimate employers, harms the reputation of the industry, drives down wages and denies employment to hard-working UK citizens and people who are working in the UK legally.”
Employers are required to make ‘Right to Work’ checks. Failure to comply has serious financial repercussions – in the last Parliament the government doubled the maximum civil penalty for non-compliant employers to £20,000 for each illegal worker employed.
New measures included in the Immigration Bill will make it easier to prosecute employers using illegal labour, increase the maximum prison sentence for doing so to five year and also close down businesses which continue to flout the rules.
Those who work illegally will themselves be committing a criminal offence and face the prospect of having their earnings seized, and we will also continue to seek to remove from the UK anyone who does not have the right to be here.