LONDON: Fines for those employing or renting their property to illegal migrants have increased significantly in the United Kingdom, reported German news agency (dpa).

The civil penalty for hiring anyone without the right to work in the UK has tripled from £15,000 to £45,000 (US$19,000 to US$57,000) per worker for a first breach from Tuesday, with a fine of £60,000 for repeat breaches – up from £20,000.

Landlords face increased penalties of £5,000 per lodger and £10,000 per occupier for a first breach – up from £80 and £1,000.

Repeat breaches have risen from £500 to £10,000 per lodger and from £3,000 to £20,000 per occupier.

Michael Tomlinson, minister for countering illegal migration, said: “We are making great strides in our work to dismantle the business model of the evil people smugglers.

“But rogue employers and landlords who willingly allow illegal migrants to work for them and rent their properties undermine our efforts.

“It’s an affront to honest, hardworking people who play by the rules.”

Home Office figures show more than 6,000 civil penalties have been issued to employers since the start of 2018, totalling £105 million, with the first 11 months of 2023 bringing in £26 million.

Fines for landlords topped £300,000 over the same period.

It is the first increase in fines since 2014.

“Illegal working enforcement visits ramped up by nearly 70 per cent last year,” Tomlinson said.

“By robustly cracking down on those who facilitate these illegal practices, we are providing a vital deterrent against making dangerous and unnecessary journeys to the UK.

“Carrying out the appropriate checks is simple, straightforward and a legal requirement – there is no excuse and those who don’t will face these stringent penalties.”–Bernama-dpa

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