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25th Jul 2024
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Small business owners are not immigration officers

by The Editor at 11:40 04/03/08 (News)
A small business group has criticised new legislation on employing foreign workers that will impose unrealistic expectations and draconian fines on employers.
Parts of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act, which came into force last week (Friday February 29), will require small employers to understand and verify up to thirteen different forms of identification when employing foreign workers, including recognising the passports of 27 EU member states.

Small businesses face fines of £10,000 if they employ people illegally, even if they do so without knowing it.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) criticised the complexity of the legislation and the lack of publicity about the new rules.

Alan Tyrrell, FSB Employment Chairman, said: “It is totally unfair to expect small business owners to act as immigration officers and then threaten them with huge fines if they slip up. It is doubly unfair when the Government then fails to adequately publicise the new rules.

“Immigration policy and the implementation of it is a matter for the Government, not for small business owners.

“Expecting small employers to understand and implement complicated immigration rules is ludicrous. The guidance notes alone for this piece of legislation run to nearly thirty pages.”

More information on the implications of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act on employers is available here.

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Susie Hughes
The Editor © Hardhatter 2008

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