Illegal Worker Fine Scheme ' Lamentable'

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.

QuarterAmount LeviedAmount Collected
April to June3.44 million15,000
July to September4.70 million322,000
October to December3.14 million508,000

January to March5.43 million465,000
April to June4.46 million649,000
July to September8.60 million907,000
October to December4.37 million1.22 million

January to March5.80 million1.46 million
April to June5.47 million1.61 million
July to September4.47 million1.70 million
October to December3.20 million1.80 million

3. It is estimated just around 6,000 firms have been issued with fines for employing one or more illegal workers.

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