Prevention of Illegal Working

This is a complex area of law and businesses are obliged to comply with stringent requirements, which can easily be overlooked without the correct advice. Preventing illegal working may seem like a daunting responsibility for many HR advisors, however, our top ranked immigration team can guide you through setting up and maintaining effective processes to make this more manageable.

All businesses are required to assist in the prevention of illegal working. Tier 2 Sponsors are required to demonstrate that they have undertaken their duties by way of record-keeping. In establishing key processes and maintaining adequate records of employee’s right to work in the UK, a defence may be established should it transpire that one of those workers does not have the correct permission to take up employment in the UK.

Should no defence be established, an employer could face a fine of up to £20,000 per illegal worker, levied under the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006. Knowingly employing those without the correct work permission could lead to criminal sanctions, including imprisonment. Our highly reputable criminal team would be able to assist in this respect. Not only that, the reputational damage to the business could have severe ramifications. We would seek counsel from our discreet yet formidable reputational management team should this become necessary.

Our experienced immigration team can guide Tier 2 Sponsors in the following areas:

  • Establishing key processes
  • Maintaining adequate records
  • Having systems in place to allow you to easily track visa expiry dates
  • Ensuring up to date evidence is retained to demonstrate all employers continue to have the right to work in the UK

You may currently be undergoing an investigation by the Home Office. We can assist you by offering round the clock support including conducting audits and presenting our findings. We will work with you to create and build excellent compliance systems with routine health checks, and we will ensure all HR members receive training so they can understand and perform their duties easily.

We will be there to assist at a scheduled Home Office visit and make representations on your behalf. With the added benefit of our extremely knowledgeable employment team, we are able to integrate our services so as to be able to assist you in drafting office manuals, employment contracts and offer letters.

Recent example of work

  • Undertaking an internal investigation, providing compliance advice and negotiating with the Home Office on behalf of a Tier 2 Sponsor in respect of potential illegal working breaches, including advising on the possible impact on their business, its managers and directors and leveraging our firm’s expertise in immigration, employment and criminal law.


"Always prompt and factual’" Kingsley Napley LLP provides "an excellent level of service"

Legal 500 UK

"Kingsley Napley leads the immigration outfits in the UK"

Who's Who Corporate Immigration

"..'The practice has gone from strength to strength.'the group is 'at the top of its game,' whilst clients are keen to highlight that the department is 'extremely informative and good at reporting policy changes'..." 

Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession

"Interviewees agree that Kingsley Napley is home to a superb team of immigration lawyers"

Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession

“absolutely superb” 

Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession

“top of the tree, with admirable depth and breadth” 

Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession

“genuinely ground-breaking work that requires this firm’s impressive brainpower” 

Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession

"Kingsley Napley LLP has ‘enormous experience and great depth of practice'" 

Legal 500 UK


For more information about our immigration services please contact Nicolas Rollason at or a member of the team.


Registering as a Sponsor FAQs

In order to sponsor migrants under Tier 2 of the Points Based System, employers must be registered with the Home Office and hold a Sponsor Licence. Here we cover some of the frequently asked questions.

Strategic Immigration Support for HR Teams

We provide a full range of immigration support services to HR teams, offering strategic support and advice to ensure you meet your objectives on PBS sponsorship and compliance.

Mergers and Acquisitions and Your Tier 2 Sponsor Licence

Our team provide clear strategic advice to businesses and their advisors on changes in ownership, mergers and corporate reorganisations, which can have significant immigration implications for businesses that are Tier 2 sponsors.

Dealing with a Home Office Investigation

Dealing with a Home Office investigation into your workforce can be a stressful situation for any company or employer. We provide specialist support for your business together with our employment and criminal lawyers if needed.

Staying Compliant under the Points Based System

The UK government places the responsibility for compliance with Home Office rules on employers hiring foreign migrants in the UK under the points based system. We can help you put systems and processes in place to stay compliant.

Sponsoring and Hiring Foreign Nationals

We provide the support you require when sponsoring foreign nationals or hiring nationals outside the UK and European area, from obtaining a sponsor licence to setting up and reviewing your immigration compliance systems and policies.

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