Immigration Minister James Brokenshire has stated that the government is going to crack down on the employment of undocumented immigrants working in the UK because they are reducing wages, getting an “unfair advantage” and preventing UK citizen from getting jobs.
As part of the Home Office crackdown, there will be an increase in the number of raids in suspected workplaces particularly “on cleaning firms, building sites and care homes”. It was already reported in The Wharf that Greencore, the UK’s largest sandwich factory in Bromley-by-Bow, London could be fined over £500,000 after a raid which found 32 workers who lacked official documentation for the requirements to work in the UK.
The Home Office have enlisted a number of government bodies to participate in the crackdown on undocumented immigration into the UK including Immigration Enforcement teams, HM revenue and Customs, Health and Safety Executive and the Gangmasters’ Licensing Authority.
According to the BBC, “employers can be fined up to £20,000 per person for employing illegal workers. Employers who knowingly employ an illegal worker can be jailed for up to two years.”
In Brokenshire’s speech, he stated that “experience tells us that employers who are prepared to cheat employment rules are also likely to breach health and safety rules and pay insufficient tax. That's why our new approach will be to use the full force of government machinery to hit them from all angles and take away the unfair advantage enjoyed by those who employ illegal migrants."
Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper has stated that that the government should " extend the Gangmasters' Licensing Authority - a public body that works to stop worker exploitation - and to "make exploitation a crime".
"Exploitation hurts everyone - those who are working hard and being exploited, other workers whose pay and jobs are undercut, and responsible employers who are undermined," she added.