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Laws to curb illegal working are changing: Is your business ready?


4th November 2015

As part of the International Inspiring Construction conference, Home Office experts will give attendees practical advice to help them prevent illegal working and avoid the financial and reputational risks that come with being caught.

Launched this autumn, and running into next year, Operation Magnify a Home Office enforcement initiative is targeting illegal working in the UK construction sector.  Employers must ensure the appropriate right to work checking procedures are in place and extend to any sub-contractors or face penalties which, at £20,000 per illegal worker could mount up to hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Jacqueline Balian, Director at the CIOB said: “The transient nature of the industry makes it vulnerable to the risk of illegal employment and a target for organised crime.  Attendees are going to get expert advice on how to spot counterfeit documentation and how to boost existing procedures. This will help them set up procedures which will mitigate against potential reputational damage, significant financial cost and crucially prevent injury, or worse, to those who have been exploited and find themselves in an industry they are not trained for.”

New measures included in the Immigration Bill currently progressing through Parliament will make it easier to prosecute employers using illegal labour, increasing the maximum prison sentence to five years and with powers to close down businesses which continue to flout the rules.  Government has also begun consulting on a proposed extension to the Gangmasters Licensing Authority that would allow it to investigate exploitation in construction and other sectors.

Christopher Tilley from the Home Office who designed a cross-governmental strategy to tackle illegal working and exploitation in the construction industry; coordinate enforcement action at the national level; and advise senior government officials on exploitation and illegal working matters will be giving a keynote address to the International Inspiring Construction Conference.  Chris will be joined by Home Office representatives who will give delegates detailed advice and practical examples of how to protect their businesses, projects and limit the abuse of illegal migrant workers. 

Find out more about the measures being introduced by the government to tackle illegal working and how your business can prevent the exploitation of migrant workers at the CIOB's annual conference on 24 November, 2015 in London. The full conference programme can be found at 




Saul Townsend
+1344 630 766

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