March 14, 2011
New figures reveal that the UKBA has only collected 20% of the fines issued to those who employ illegal workers.
An employer caught employing illegal workers can be fined up to £10,000 per worker under the UK Border Agency's Civil Penalty Scheme but in the past three years only an average of £2,000 per worker has in fact been collected.
'This scheme could be a very useful instrument in the fight against illegal immigration, helping reduce the scope for illegal workers who undercut law abiding businesses and legal workers. This is even more important at a time when jobs are so scarce,' said Sir Andrew Green, chairman of think tank Migration Watch UK.
However the UKBA has only collected £10 million of the total £50 million fines issued to date - just 20%.
'It seems that the UKBA is taking the employers' word that they cannot afford to pay or are too ready to agree a reduced figure in the hope of getting at least some of the fine.
'This is another example of successive governments' feeble approach to illegal immigration. To collect just 20% of the available fines is frankly lamentable,' said Sir Andrew.
'There must be much more determined collection of fines to send a clear message that those employing illegal workers will suffer financially. Otherwise, the job opportunities for British workers will continue to be thoroughly undermined by people from across the world who have no right to be here at all'.
Notes to editors:
1. The Civil penalty scheme was introduced in February 2008. An employer can be fines a maximum of £10,000 per illegal worker.
2. The fines issued and collected are detail below and taken from Hansard.
|Quarter||Amount Levied||Amount Collected|
|April to June||3.44 million||15,000|
|July to September||4.70 million||322,000|
|October to December||3.14 million||508,000|
|January to March||5.43 million||465,000|
|April to June||4.46 million||649,000|
|July to September||8.60 million||907,000|
|October to December||4.37 million||1.22 million|
|January to March||5.80 million||1.46 million|
|April to June||5.47 million||1.61 million|
|July to September||4.47 million||1.70 million|
|October to December||3.20 million||1.80 million|
3. It is estimated just around 6,000 firms have been issued with fines for employing one or more illegal workers.