Civil penalty notices are issued by the Home Office for breaches of section 15 of the Immigration Act 2006. If you have received a civil penalty notice from the Home Office and don’t know what to do, then contact Carter Law for advice; we can help you appeal the penalty and help you avoid paying hefty fines.
What to do if you get a Civil Penalty Notice for Immigration?
Immigrants can only work in the UK if they have entered the country legally and have been granted leave to remain. Leave to remain can be granted in three ways:
- By coming from a country that the UK has a treaty with for free movement of people, for example, Nations in the EU
- By obtaining a valid visa and entering the country in a legal manner
- By being granted indefinite leave to remain.
If a worker has not entered or been granted leave to remain in the country legally, they are not entitled to work in the UK. Any employer found providing employment to such individuals will be subject to the civil penalty notice.
What are the penalties for employing illegal workers?
Officially the fine could be unlimited and will be judged on the severity of the offence but in reality the fines will range from between £10,000 and £20,000 per worker. The size of the fine is such to prevent employers from thinking that the risks outweighed the rewards. In more severe cases you could also face 5 years of in prison.
Can I Appeal Against a Civil Penalty Notice?
The civil penalty notice will typically be issued with a discount for early settlement, this is usually 30% and you have 21 days in order to make the payment. But you can appeal the notice if you feel you have not broken the law or have done all you can to prevent the employment of illegal workers.
Details of how you can appeal will be stated in the civil penalty notice, but it will also state that if you raise an objection then your fine could be increased. It is also worth noting that those reviewing your appeal are not an independent body, they are the very same people that originally accused you, so it is imperative that you take legal advice in order to defend the notice, simply objecting will not be good enough. Either way the objection must be raised within 28 days of its receipt.
Our immigration solicitors have a great deal of experience within the complex field of UK immigration law and have successfully overturned many Civil Penalty Notices.
I didn’t know I was employing an illegal worker and I still received a civil penalty notice!
The government has adopted a “catch all” approach and taken a hard line against those who break the rules, whether they acted with intent or not. There are set procedures that you must follow if you are employing someone from outside of the EU, EEA, Switzerland, or the British Isles. Broadly speaking you must ensure they have a valid visa, it allows them to work and then make regular checks throughout their employment. Furthermore, you must report any disappearance of the employee or any suspicions you have to the Home Office as soon as you identify them.
You can either undertake these checks yourself or outsource them to a third party company, ether way they must be done correctly.
How will Carter Law help me with the civil penalty notice?
If you want to challenge the civil penalty notice you will have to argue points of law with the Home Office and be able to demonstrate that you have fully complied with their guidance on employing foreign workers; this is not an easy task. The UK Government, in the wake of increased sensitivities on immigration and heightened security regarding international terrorism are taking this matter very seriously.
The stakes of losing the appeal are also very high not just financially but can affect your reputation too, so we would always advise you to seek legal advice on the matter first. Carter Law has an expert team of corporate immigration specialists that have dealt with many similar outcomes.
Contact us to Appeal an Immigration Civil Penalty Notice
If you’ve received a civil penalty notice relating to immigration matters and you believe to be unfair or erroneous, then do not hesitate to contact Carter Law. Our solicitors have a great deal of experience in challenging and overturning CPNs and we’ll gladly lend our expertise to your case.