Immigration Act 2016: employers that employ illegal workers face business closure

Implementation date: 1 December 2016

Section 38 of the Immigration Act 2016 provides for employers to face temporary or continued closure if they employ foreign workers illegally. It is commenced by the Immigration Act 2016 (Commencement No.2 and Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2016 (SI 2016/1037).

A chief immigration officer can issue an employer with a closure notice that will prevent access to its premises (except for a person who lives there) for a maximum period of 48 hours, where he or she reasonably suspects that the employer is employing foreign workers illegally and the employer has previously committed certain specified offences of illegal working. Unless the notice has been cancelled, an immigration officer must make an application to the relevant court for an illegal working compliance order, which can, among other things, prohibit or restrict access to the employer's premises for a period of 12 months. This can be extended for a further period of 12 months in certain circumstances.