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Right to work penalties are set to triple in February 2024

For many years employers have been required to check the right to work of their employees. Those who fail to do so, may face a civil penalty if they are employing illegal workers. These civil penalties are due to triple in February 2024.

The Home Office has announced that from 13 February 2024, the maximum civil penalty for employing an illegal worker will increase from £20,000 to £60,000 per worker. The starting point for a first breach will also increase from £15,000 to £45,000 per worker.

These changes are part of the government’s efforts to deter illegal immigration and protect public services and vulnerable migrants from exploitation.

Employers should familiarise themselves with the updated code of practice on preventing illegal working, which sets out the prescribed checks and the factors that the Home Office considers when determining the amount of any penalty.


We can advise employers on how to comply with the right to work scheme and avoid liability for illegal working. Please contact us for more information.


The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the date of publication and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.

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