What is a Civil Penalty?
If you are employing illegal immigrants or foreign workers without a Sponsor Licence or allow them to work without a valid UK visa you could receive a Civil Penalty.
This penalty comes directly from the Home Office and comes in the form of a written warning and a monetary fine. If you receive a UK Civil Penalty it must be quickly responded to in order to avoid further penalties.
How can IAS help?
Our highly-qualified immigration lawyers can help you if you have received, or are worried about receiving a Civil Penalty. At IAS, we offer exclusive Immigration Consultancy and Immigration Audit services. These services identify and solve any issues with your business’ HR practices. We also offer full representation should you be looking to appeal a Civil Penalty. Contact us now on 0333 363 8577 or make an enquiry online to speak to a lawyer.
More information on how to avoid Civil Penalties
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‘Civil law’ and ‘criminal law’ refer to two different sections of the British justice system. However, many use ‘civil penalty’ and ‘criminal penalty’ interchangeably.
If you have received a Civil Penalty, there are three courses of action you can take:
- You can choose to object the penalty;
- You can directly request that a payment instrumental plan is set up by contacting the Home Office; or
- You can pay the penalty in full.
The Home Office has a strict 28 day deadline. Because of this it is important to bear in mind that you will need to make a decision within this time frame to avoid incurring further penalties.
It is also important to note that there is no extension period for any of these options.
In situations where you have received a Criminal Penalty, it is advisable to contact us immediately to discuss the circumstances of the penalty and the best course of action for you.
As well as having to pay a large fine to the Home Office, a Civil Penalty can also result in:
- Tier 2 Sponsor Licence suspension;
- Tier 2 Sponsor Licence revocation;
- a negative impact on your future credit;
- being disqualified from your role if you are a company director; and/or;
- criminal prosecution (including imprisonment).
The Home Office publish an annual list of all the names of UK businesses who have been issued with Civil Penalties. This can also have a negative impact for businesses, as it can result in:
- poor press coverage;
- a loss of reputation and appeal; and
- a decrease in profits/business.
As there is a very strict deadline within which you are able to object your civil penalty, it is highly advisable that you seek the assistance of an immigration adviser.
At IAS, we have a team of expert lawyers who are dedicated to making sure that you are aware of your options. One of our advisers will:
- talk you through your rights and the correct approach to take objecting a penalty from the Home Office;
- liaise with the Home Office to find out the details of your alleged offence;
- assess your right of appeal;
- prepare a Letter of Representation, which provides details about your case and any relevant immigration laws; and
- act as your legal representative if your appeal is taken to a Tribunal hearing.
We will assist you throughout the entire duration of your objection, ensuring that you have the full support you need. Make an enquiry online or call 0333 363 8577 to speak with an immigration advice lawyer today.