Company receives fine notice from UKVI for employing illegal workers, Civil Penalty Reduced to Zero.
A Y & J Solicitors had the privilege of assisting a reputed Care Home company in resolving a UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) civil penalty with NO action—ZERO penalties!
UKVI (Home Office) alleged that company DV employed an illegal worker. On 21st July 2017, Home Office issued a penalty of £10,000, which was payable by 22nd August 2017. They concluded:
- Our client did not provide any evidence of reporting a suspected illegal worker as required.
- Our client did not have an effective document checking service because they did not copy both sides of the BRP cards belonging to Ms K (an alleged illegal worker).
Home Office decided that the employee in question, Ms K, was employed by our client, who did not properly carry out the Right to Work checks, and continued to employ Ms K after our client’s sponsor licence was revoked on 6th July 2015.
Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Revoked Claiming Illegal Workers
Our client previously held a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence. Home Office revoked this licence on 6th July 2015. Ms K was employed in November 2014, and her contract was terminated on 12th April 2016. Her employment was terminated because on 12th April 2016 our client received a letter from the Home Office dated the 5th April 2016 stating that Home Office had information that Ms K did not have permission to work.
A Y & J Solicitors submitted strong representation on the Civil Penalty matter
On 16th August 2017, we submitted a representation to the Home Office arguing the following:
- Our client reiterated that they had undertaken the necessary Right to Work checks for Ms K. We drew Home Office’s attention to the fact that Ms K was employed by our client in November 2014 and her leave was due to expire on 18th November 2017. Therefore, our client—as per the relevant Home Office published guidance—was not duty bound to conduct any further checks until the expiry of Ms K’s leave on 18th November 2017.
- We argued that based on our understanding of the guidance, the onus was on Home Office to curtail the leave to remain of a migrant to 60 calendar days. There was no mention in the guidance that our client would be notified that Ms K’s leave had been curtailed. From the Right to Work check guidance, our client did not have to conduct any further checks until the expiry of Ms K’s leave to remain.
- Finally, our client received a letter from the Home Office on 12th April 2016, which was dated the 5th April 2016. Upon receiving this letter, our client with immediate effect terminated Ms K’s employment.
Up to the point of receiving this letter, for reasons set out above, our client had a statutory excuse, but that statutory excuse was no longer valid as Ms K confirmed to our client on 12th April 2016, that she had received the curtailment letter from the Home Office.
Our client had done the responsible thing and should not be penalised for the ambiguity of the guidance, which does not allow a sponsor to know when a migrant has received a curtailment letter. Furthermore, our client had done Verification Reports for other employees when required to do so.
Civil Penalty Compliance Team Decides Zero Penalty for Client
On 24th August 2017, the Civil Penalty Compliance Team of the Immigration Enforcement wrote to our client advising of NO action against them—ZERO penalty.
A Y & J Solicitors will work tirelessly to ensure Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holders are able to retain their essential sponsorship privileges, understand their requirements as set out by Home Office policy guidance, and avoid fines and penalties when they are doing their utmost to maintain compliance.
If you are facing challenging circumstances relating to your Tier 2 Sponsor Licence, please contact us today. We’re here to help.