Illegal working: dealing with a criminal allegation
Produced in partnership with Daniel Bunting of 2 Dr. Johnson's Buildings
Illegal working: dealing with a criminal allegation

The following Immigration practice note Produced in partnership with Daniel Bunting of 2 Dr. Johnson's Buildings provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Illegal working: dealing with a criminal allegation
  • Offence of employing an illegal worker—overview
  • Employment between 29 February 2008 and 11 July 2016
  • What will trigger a prosecution?
  • Definition of the offence
  • Employment between 29 February 2008 and 11 July 2016
  • Who is an employee?
  • Employment between 29 February 2008 and 11 July 2016
  • Test for employment versus self-employment
  • Employee or volunteer?
  • More...

IP COMPLETION DAY: 11pm (GMT) on 31 December 2020 marks the end of the Brexit transition/implementation period entered into following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. At this point in time (referred to in UK law as ‘IP completion day’), key transitional arrangements come to an end and significant changes begin to take effect across the UK’s legal regime. This document contains guidance on subjects impacted by these changes. Before continuing your research, see Practice Note: What does IP completion day mean for Immigration?

This Practice Note provides an overview of the main criminal offences relating to illegal working and discusses practical aspects of dealing with a criminal investigation and prosecution. For information on the civil penalty regime relating to illegal working, see Practice Note: Illegal working: dealing with a civil penalty.

This Practice Note covers the law as it applies to England and Wales only.

This Practice Note focuses on prosecution under section 21 of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 (IANA 2006), however, for information on other illegal working offences, see Other offences below.

Offence of employing an illegal worker—overview

The main illegal working offence is contained in IANA 2006, s 21. This offence is committed if, on or after 12 July 2016, an employer employs anyone knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that they are a ‘disqualified person’.

A person is a disqualified person if:

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