Clause 9 - Offence of employing illegal worker

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

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire Minister of State (Home Office) (Security and Immigration) 4:30 pm, 27th October 2015

That is why I made the point about negligence and how that is dealt with under the civil penalty regime but not the criminal provisions that I explained earlier. That feeds back into the debate we have had in respect of the bar that needs to be set for bringing prosecutions. That is why I made the comments I did in the previous debate about discrimination. The most serious cases involving the exploitation of illegal labour will continue to be dealt with under legislation that prohibits facilitation and trafficking. It is important to make that point in the broader context of the provision.

Subsection (1) amends section 21(1) of the 2006 Act by inserting, after “knowing”,

“or having reasonable cause to believe”.

That is the test. It is not negligence. The effect is to amend what is known as the mens rea, the knowledge or intention needed to make out the offence, in order to make the test more objective and the offence easier to prove, but still with that safeguard.