The Immigration Act 2016 received its royal ascent on 12th May 2016. What does the Act contain:-
It widens the criminal offence of knowingly employed an illegal migrant where an employer has reasonable cause to believe that a person is an illegal worker. Employers should retain a copy of the employee’s passport with an appropriate visa and any restrictions contained in it.
The powers of the court to sentence an employer if found to be in breach of this provision is increased from 2 years to 5 years at a Crown Court Hearing.
If the police or immigration authorities find illegal working at an employer’s premises, they can seize the earnings of the illegal worker(s) and these can be dealt with under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. That is, the illegal worker(s) can have their earnings confiscated.
The legislation gives the Secretary of State (Home Secretary) power to introduce an immigration skill charge on employers who sponsor skilled workers from outside the European economic area. The legislation requires public authorities to ensure that public sector workers in customer-facing roles can speak fluent English.
A director of labour market enforcement will be constituted and this person will have the task of overseeing the coordinating enforcement of worker exploitation legislation. A tsar?