Illegal Working

A condition attached to limited leave may include a restriction on employment or occupation. An automatic extension of leave extends the condition and a person can only be guilty of the offence of breaching the condition during a period in which they apply. A person who takes employment after the expiry of leave is not committing an additional offence to that of overstaying leave even though his employer is.

Where a person is given temporary admission to the UK it is also an offence to fail to observe any requirements as to employment or occupation.

Sections 15- 26 of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 entered into force on 29 February 2008 and created a new statutory regime covering employer sanctions. These impose civil penalties and create a new criminal offence. An employer is not liable to a civil penalty and commits no criminal offence if he or she employs someone who does not have leave to enter or remain but has been given temporary admission without condition restricting or prohibiting employment. The policy is primarily to use the civil sanctions and only resort to criminal sanctions for employers deliberately flouting the law. The system seeks a proportionate approach to non-compliance with legal obligations whilst providing a sufficient deterrent effect so that ‘employers will not want to risk their profits and reputation by using slipshod employment practices and employing illegal migrant workers’.

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