Clause 9 - Offence of employing illegal worker

Part of Immigration Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:30 pm on 27th October 2015.

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To adopt a test of recklessness rather than negligence for the offence of employing an illegal worker, so as to avoid discriminatory employment practices by employers.

I can be relatively brief. The extension of the offence has been advanced on the basis of the need to deal with repeat offenders, but there is nothing in the Bill that requires an offender to have already offended before the new test is applied. Therefore, it is applied more generally. In our submission the right approach is to move to a position of recklessness rather than negligence for fear of the default position of employers, which could be discriminatory in its effect.