Schedule 1 - Licensing Act 2003: amendments relating to illegal working

Immigration Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:45 pm on 27th October 2015.

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Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire Minister of State (Home Office) (Security and Immigration) 4:45 pm, 27th October 2015

I beg to move amendment 1, in schedule 1, page 49, line 38, leave out sub-paragraph (6) and insert—

‘( ) After subsection (5) insert—

(5A) Where an interim authority notice is cancelled under subsection (3)(b)(ii), the licensing authority must also give a copy of the notice under subsection (4) to the Secretary of State.””

This amendment requires a licensing authority to notify the Secretary of State of its decision to cancel an interim authority notice where the Secretary of State has given notice under section 48(2B) of the Licensing Act 2003 that granting the interim authority notice would be prejudicial to the prevention of illegal working.

Photo of Peter Bone Peter Bone Conservative, Wellingborough

With this it will be convenient to discuss Government amendments 2 to 10.

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire Minister of State (Home Office) (Security and Immigration)

These minor and technical amendments strengthen and clarify the amendments made by schedule 1 of the Bill to the Licensing Act 2003. The amendments to that Act in general build in additional protections against illegal working in the licensing regime governing the sale of alcohol and late-night refreshments. The amendments must be considered within the context of clause 10 and schedule 1 to the Bill.

Amendment 1 requires a licensing authority to notify the Secretary of State—in effect, the Home Secretary—if the licensing authority decides to cancel an interim authority notice where the Secretary of State had notified the licensing authority that failing to cancel the interim authority notice would be prejudicial to the prevention of illegal working.

Amendment 2 ensures that a chief officer of police may take into account whether an immigration civil penalty, for employing an illegal worker or renting a dwelling to an illegal migrant, would undermine the crime prevention objective when considering whether to object to a personal licence application.

Amendment 3 makes a similar provision to amendment 2 where the chief officer of police is notified, after a personal licence has been granted, that the licence holder was required to pay an immigration penalty in the period between the application being made and its being granted.

Amendments 4, 5 and 6 substitute “licence holder” for “applicant”, so that they are consistent with the other amendments to section 124 of the 2003 Act.

Amendment 7 requires a licensing authority to notify the Secretary of State of its decision whether or not to revoke a personal licence where the Secretary of State has served an immigration objection notice under section 124(3B) of the 2003 Act.

Amendment 8 makes consequential amendments to section 10 of the 2003 Act and amendment 9 makes consequential amendments to sections 109 and 111 of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011.

Amendment 10 makes transitional provisions, so that the amendments to sections 13, 16, 42, 47 and 120 of the 2003 Act do not apply in relation to applications made, or interim authority notices given, before the commencement of the respective paragraph of schedule 1.

Photo of Keir Starmer Keir Starmer Shadow Minister (Home Office)

On a point of clarification in relation to proposed new section 179(1A) of the Licensing Act 2003, as inserted by paragraph 22(2) of schedule 1, I want to ask the Minister an open question. Why is the test there for an immigration officer to enter premises that they have “reason to believe” the premises are being used, rather than, as I think is the case elsewhere in the Bill, that they have “reasonable grounds” to believe that? It may to be align the Bill with other licensing legislation, but on the face of it, that is a much lower threshold than the usual threshold for entering premises, and it is with a view to seeing whether an offence is being committed. This is a genuine, if probing, question.

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire Minister of State (Home Office) (Security and Immigration)

I think the amendments are being made on the basis of consistency with other legislation. However, in the spirit in which the hon. and learned Gentleman raised that issue, I will have a look at that point of detail in relation to previous legislation and how this is framed in some of the other tests that are being applied. If there is an issue, I will come back to him.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendments made: 2, in schedule 1, page 51, line 27, at end insert—

‘( ) In subsection (5)—

(a) omit the “and” at the end of paragraph (a);

(b) at the end of paragraph (b) insert “and

(c) the applicant having been required to pay any immigration penalty,”.”

This amendment ensures that a chief officer of police may have regard to an applicant being required to pay an immigration penalty when considering whether granting a personal licence would undermine the crime prevention objective.

Amendment 3, in schedule 1, page 53, line 11, leave out sub-paragraph (3) and insert—

‘( ) In subsection (3)—

(a) in paragraph (a)—

(i) for “applicant” substitute “licence holder”;

(ii) for “, and” substitute “which occurred before the end of the application period,”;

(a) in paragraph (b), after “relevant offence” insert “and which occurred before the end of the application period”;

(b) at the end of paragraph (b) insert “and

(c) the licence holder having been required before the end of the application period to pay any immigration penalty,”;

(c) in the words after paragraph (b), omit “which occurred before the end of the application period,”.”

See the explanatory statement for amendment 2.

Amendment 4, in schedule 1, page 53, line 20, leave out “applicant” and insert “licence holder”

This amendment and amendments 5 and 6 substitute “licence holder” for “applicant” to be consistent with the other amendments to section 124 of the Licensing Act 2003.

Amendment 5, in schedule 1, page 53, line 22, leave out “applicant” and insert “licence holder”

See the explanatory statement for amendment 4.

Amendment 6, in schedule 1, page 53, line 26, leave out “applicant” and insert “licence holder”

See the explanatory statement for amendment 4.

Amendment 7, in schedule 1, page 54, line 7, leave out sub-paragraph (6) and insert—

‘( ) After subsection (5) insert—

(5A) Where the authority revokes or decides not to revoke a licence under subsection (4)(b)(ii) it must also notify the Secretary of State of the decision and its reasons for making it.””

This amendment requires a licensing authority to notify the Secretary of State of its decision whether or not to revoke a personal licence where the Secretary of State has served an immigration objection notice under section 124(3B) of the Licensing Act 2003.

Amendment 8, in schedule 1, page 56, line 24, at end insert—

In section 10 of the Licensing Act 2003, (sub-delegation of functions by licensing committee etc), in subsection (4)(a), in sub-paragraphs (v), (vi) and (x), omit “police”.”

This amendment makes consequential amendments to section 10 of the Licensing Act 2003.

Amendment 9, in schedule 1, page 57, line 17, at end insert—

In the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, omit sections 109(9) and (10) and 111(3) and (5).”

This amendment makes consequential amendments to sections 109 and 111 of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011.

Amendment 10, in schedule 1, page 57, line 19, at end insert—

The amendments of sections 13, 16, 42, 47 and 120 of the Licensing Act 2003 made by paragraphs 3, 4, 6, 9 and 15 respectively of this Schedule do not apply in relation to applications made, or interim authority notices given, before the coming into force of the respective paragraph.” —(James Brokenshire.)

This amendment makes transitional provision to the effect that the amendments to sections 13, 16, 42, 47 and 120 of the Licensing Act 2003 do not apply in relation to applications made, or interim authority notices given, before the coming into force of the respective paragraph of Schedule 1 making the amendment.

Ordered, That further consideration be now adjourned.—(Charlie Elphicke.)

Adjourned till Thursday 29 October at half-past Eleven o’clock.

Written evidence reported to the House

IB 12 Tai Pawb (housing for all)

IB 13 Country Land & Business Association (CLA)

IB 14 A Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (ILPA) further submission

IB 14 B Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (ILPA) (Part 2)

IB 14 C Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (ILPA) (Part 3)

IB 15 Women for Refugee Women

IB 16 Detention Action

IB 17 Royal College of Nursing

IB 18 Housing Law Practitioners Association

IB 19 British Red Cross

IB 20 Amnesty International UK

IB 21 TUC