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The Immigration Bill 2015 what does it mean???

Posted by Davenport Solicitors Team on October 23, 2015 in Immigration Law

We have recently had the first reading in the House of Commons of the new bill. The PDF version makes light bedtime reading at 139 pages. So far 8 sections of guidance have been published as well as a series of overarching documents. The main changes are to:

  •  the labour market and illegal working
  • access to services
  • enforcement
  • appeals
  • support for certain categories of migrant
  • border security
  • language requirements for public sector workers
  • fees and changes

Every time I have read through the proposed changes I find myself coming up with several objections and so many problems with enforcing some of the ridiculous new powers. It’s also contradictory in many places (and of course I’m in no way suggesting that the thing was rushed through parliament at all).

Part 1 of the bill is all about Labour Market Enforcement. We are told that the current government will “provide a coherent enforcement strategy to crack down on serious exploitation of workers by appointing a new Director who will oversee the relevant enforcement agencies.” This will be done by creating a new post – Director of Labour Market Enforcement, who will be appointed by and report to, the Home Secretary and the Secretary of State for Business. It seems this Director will be responsible for setting the strategic direction; reports; and leading an intelligence hub. Someone will be very busy!

So it seems the government has accepted that some illegal migrants are subject to “serious exploitation” and the solution is to … prosecute them. Yes that’s right a new offence covering all workers – employed as well as self-employed is also being introduced.

Also included is a new power for immigration officers to be able to close down a business for up to 48 hours, where:

  • they suspect illegal working; and
  • the employer can’t give evidence that right to work checks have been conducted, (it’s not clear if the employer has to carry these documents around with them in case they are asked to provide them or they will have an agreed time frame to do this); AND
  • the employer has been fined for employing illegal workers in the past, failed to pay a fine, or has an unspent conviction for employing illegal workers.

The second reading was on 13 October 2015. MPs considered a programme motion on the Immigration Bill….

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