Civil Penalty Notice for Illegal Working Employees

Civil Penalty Notices are issued by Home Office if they found that business is employing illegal workers. Amplified pressure on the British government to eliminate illegal working has led to a significant increase in the issuance of civil penalties to various businesses. UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has responded to pressure by increasing the number of unannounced audits and inspection visits to companies in their quest to identify and penalise those who employ illegal workers.  Any workers outside the European Economic Area (EEA) working in the UK without formal permission are considered illegal workers.

Civil Penalty Notices may result in a negative record with the Home Office, fines of up to £20,000 per illegal worker, criminal prosecution, the loss of the right to employ migrant workers, and irreparable damage to your professional reputation. Therefore, unfortunately, receiving a Civil Penalty Notice can ruin a business, especially one that does not enjoy large cash reserves.

The damage caused by a Civil Penalty Notice can damage business relationships, impact the ability of a business to conduct transactions and maintain contracts, lead to the loss of skilled foreign workers, and make it almost impossible to employ new non-EEA talent.

Fortunately, receiving a civil penalty does not have to be a finality. Our expert immigration lawyers have assisted many businesses in successfully appealing Home Office Civil Penalty Notices. We understand the motivations behind immigration officials’ decisions and are well versed in negotiating with the Home Office.

How Do I Appeal a Home Office Civil Penalty Notice?

You have the option to appeal a Civil Penalty Notice.  If your civil penalty is for the employment of illegal workers, you have 28 days to either appeal the penalty or pay the fine in its entirety. There is no flexibility with this window of time, so you must be quick and measured in your response. Our business immigration lawyers can provide you with the best advice on whether you have strong enough reasons and evidence to mount an appeal against the Civil Penalty Notice. It’s important to note that if an appeal leads to the revelation of more damaging information about your company, the penalties may increase. Therefore, it is imperative to seek expert legal advice before proceeding with a course of action.

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What Is the Process of Appealing a Civil Penalty Notice?

Appealing a Civil Penalty Notice is usually done in two stages.

Phase 1

The first step after receiving a penalty notice is to contact an experienced immigration lawyer to work on your behalf.  By instructing A Y & J Solicitors, you can be assured of having a lawyer on your side who has expertise and experience in immigration law and has obtained successful rulings on behalf of clients in the past. We will take the time to consider the fine details of your situation to formulate a strong appeal.

Within 28 days of being issued with your penalty, we will send a written legal representation to the Home Office including a statement regarding your grounds for objecting the Civil Penalty Notice. There are three options:

  1. If the penalty has been levied for workers that are not with your employment, we can state that this penalty is not within your liability.
  2. If you took appropriate actions to check for illegal workers and had no reason to suspect that they were unlawful, you may claim a statutory excuse. We will state this in your defence if it is appropriate.
  3. If you have acted in a reasonable and cooperative manner throughout your inspection and review, and your business has established methods for being compliant, we can argue the penalty has been issued at an unreasonable level and request an adjustment of the fine.

Phase 2

If your Phase 1 appeal is not successful, we can take additional action. Within 28 days of being denied your written application, we can register an appeal at the County Court, enabling you to receive a hearing.

It’s critical that you take every necessary action to prepare thoroughly for this hearing. This is your final opportunity to have the penalty adjusted or repealed. We will advise and support you every step of the way. The experience and knowledge of our team will be invaluable to your case and success. In the hearing, you will be able to present all documentation in your defence as well as call on expert witnesses if required.

Why Choose A Y & J Solicitors to Assist You with a Civil Penalty Appeal?

By instructing A Y & J Solicitors, you can be confident that you have a knowledgeable and experienced team of immigration law experts on your side.  Because we are methodical in our preparation of our clients’ cases, we usually achieve a settlement with the Home Office well before an appeal reaches court.  This saves our client’s money, time, and help them to get on with the task of growing their business.

FAQs

Before it can issue a Civil Penalty Notice for illegal workers, the Home Office must prove:

  1. The migrant did not have the right to work in the UK, and
  2. The organisation employed that person.

If you can successfully argue that that one or both of these elements did not exist at the time the Home Office Civil Penalty Notice was issued, you have a strong appeal case.

 

At A Y & J Solicitors, part of our customer service is ensuring our fees are fully transparent.  Your lawyer will explain the process of appeal to you and keep you informed of costs at every stage.  In addition, it is important to remember that any costs associated with appealing a Fixed Penalty Notice are usually minimal compared with the fine which may be imposed and the loss of reputation associated with the penalty.

Success Story on Civil Penalty Notice

Company receives fine notice from UKVI for employing illegal workers 1
On January 19, 2018 | In Civil Penalty Notice | By A Y & J Solicitors

Company receives notice from UKVI for employing illegal workers, Civil Penalty Reduced to Zero.

A Y & J Solicitors had the privilege of assisting a reputable Care Home company by 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…

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