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.
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.
Appealing a Civil Penalty Notice is usually done in two stages.
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:
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.
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.
Before it can issue a Civil Penalty Notice for illegal workers, the Home Office must prove:
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.
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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…
We are a specialised UK immigration law firm.
This video is about Civil Penalty Notice issued by the Home Office for employing illegal migrants.
Let’s see as to how Civil Penalties Create Severe Problems.
Number 1: The Fine is up to 20,000 pounds per illegal worker, so it may cause severe financial implication.
Number 2: These penalties result in a negative record (i.e. Name and shame) as Home Office publishes the records online with the Company Name who get caught employing illegal workers.
Number 3 It may lead to criminal prosecution
Fortunately, receiving a civil penalty does not have to be a finality. If the business takes quick action and challenge the civil penalty if they have good grounds in defense, then there are possibilities to overturn the decision or reduce the penalty.
What can you do after receiving the 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 a time frame of 28 days when you can 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 in your response.
It’s important to note that if an appeal leads to the revelation of more damaging information against your company, the penalties may increase. It’s vital to get an expert advice before proceeding and ensure that your appeal position is strong.
The first point of action is to lodge a written objection. If this written objection is unsuccessful, you can request a hearing to present your appeal.
Let me share our recent success story.
A Y & J Solicitors were instructed by a reputed company with over 25 years’ experience in the property services for their Civil Penalty matter.
They were alleged of employing 5 illegal workers with a potential threat of a fine maximum up to a total of £1,00,000.
We represented this client on their Civil Penalty matter and managed to get a NO action notice from the Home Office, i.e. ZERO penalties.
See here (watch the video), a letter from the Home Office’s NO action notice for this client.
Of course, every case would be decided on its own merits, and the outcome of the case depends on the quality of information/documents. Having said that, we are well placed to bring a difference in our client’s Civil Penalty matter employing our niche extensive experience and expertise in this area.
The expert team at A Y & J Solicitors has had success reducing Civil Penalty for small to large organisations.
If you require legal advice in relation to Civil Penalty Notice, please contact us today. Our contact details are at the bottom of the video. We are happy to help. Thank you.