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UK increases fines for bosses, landlords supporting 'illegal migrants'

August 7, 2023 at 7:35 pm

Border Force Vigilant and Typhoon bring migrants ashore at Dover Harbour in Dover, United Kingdom on May 17, 2022 [Stuart Brock/Anadolu Agency]

Fines in the UK will be more than tripled for employers and landlords who allow “illegal migrants” to work for them or rent their properties, the government announced on Monday, terming it the “biggest shake up” of civil penalties since 2014, reports Anadolu Agency.

It is the latest attempt by the government to prevent asylum seekers crossing the English Channel on small boats.

“The civil penalty for employers, which was last increased in 2014, will be raised to up to £45,000 ($57,400) per illegal worker for a first breach from £15,000 ($19,130), and up to £60,000 (some $76,500) for repeat breaches from £20,000 ($25,500),” the Home Office said in a statement.

Meanwhile, fines will increase for landlords from £80 per lodger and £1,000 per occupier for a first breach to up to £5,000 per lodger and £10,000 per occupier.

Repeat breaches will be up to £10,000 per lodger and £20,000 per occupier, up from £500 and £3,000 respectively, and the higher penalties will be effective in the start of 2024.

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The ministry said almost 5,000 civil penalties have been issued to employers with a total value of £88.4 million ($97.1 million) since 2018.

Landlords have also been hit with over 320 civil penalties worth a total of £215,500 in the same period.

“Making it harder for illegal migrants to work and operate in the UK is vital to deterring dangerous, unnecessary small boat crossings. Unscrupulous landlords and employers who allow illegal working and renting enable the business model of the evil people smugglers to continue,” said Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick.

“There is no excuse for not conducting the appropriate checks and those in breach will now face significantly tougher penalties,” he added.