Border Agency issues illegal worker warning

Posted on 1 Oct 2009 by The Manufacturer

The UK Border Agency is warning manufacturers they face large fines for employing illegal workers following a raid on a Portsmouth plastics factory.

The raid was featured on an episode of Sky 1’s ‘UK Border Force’ on Monday this week. UK Border Agency officers from a number of enforcement teams across southern England joined police to raid the premises in Portsmouth. This resulted in 15 arrests for a range of offences relating to illegally entering the UK.

Companies can face a fine of up to £10,000 per illegal worker they employ.

Manufacturers must prove to the UK Border Agency that they carried out the correct right-to-work checks to employ workers from outside the European Union such as asking for and taking documentary evidence of passports, work permits and documents issued by national governments.

“We work closely with the police and other agencies to target employers who use and exploit illegal workers,” said Matthew Coates, head of immigration at the UK Border Agency.

“We’re happy to work with companies to make sure the right checks are done on potential staff, but those who break the law should take these operations as a warning.”
Guidance for employers is available on the UK Border Agency website at, or by calling its helpline on 0300 123 4699.