Clause 8 - Offence of illegal working

Part of Immigration Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:15 pm on 27th October 2015.

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Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire Minister of State (Home Office) (Security and Immigration) 4:15 pm, 27th October 2015

To respond to the point on proceeds of crime, the Government are committed to taking robust action to prevent illegal working. In our judgment, the current situation encourages illegal migrants to come to the UK, and those who are already here to overstay their leave and remain in the UK. We are clear that working without permission should be an offence that has consequences for an immigrant’s earnings. It is unfair if firms are undercutting their competitors through exploitation and the use of illegal labour. The Government will have the ability to seize cash sums and, as the hon. and learned Gentleman will know from other provisions of the Bill, that may have implications for bank accounts. The way in which powers could be used operationally in various contexts is a thread that goes through the Bill. Some of the unlawful proceeds that are being derived can be actioned through various mechanisms in the Bill.

It is important that we are closing a gap and sending out a clear message on the implications of illegal working. I underline the core element behind the Government’s focus, which is to deport and remove those with no entitlement to be here.