HC Deb 06 January 2004 vol 416 cc321-2W
Mr. Matins

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many employers have been(a) prosecuted and (b) convicted in relation to an offence under section 8 of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996 in each of the last six years for which figures are available; and what penalties were imposed.[142158]

Beverley Hughes

The latest available information on the number of persons proceeded against and those found guilty under section 8 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1996, together with the penalties imposed, is shown in the table.

Number of persons proceeded against and those found guilty of offences under section 8 of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996, England and Wales 1997 to 2002
Offence description/Statute Persons1 proceeded against Number of offences involved Persons1 found guilty Persons2 fined Persons1 not separately dealt with2
Employing a person subject to immigration control who has attained the age of 16/Asylum and Immigration Act 1996 section 8
19983 1 1 1 1
19993 4 23 1 1
20003 10 32 4 4
20013 5 65 1 1
2002 2 22 1 1
1 Principal immigration offence basis. 2 Indicates that a substantive penalty has been imposed on a non immigration offence dealt with at the same time. 3 Data have been revised since they were published in the command paper "Control of Immigration Statistics United Kingdom 2001". The Government have consulted publicly on proposals to strengthen the checks employers are required to carry out under section 8, with a view to improving compliance with and the enforcement of the legislation. The Government are currently considering possible measures in this area as part of their wider strategy on managed migration.

In the long term, a national identity cards scheme will reduce the burden on legitimate employers who already check the immigration status of their employees by giving them an easily understood card to check. It will also assist in prosecuting unscrupulous employers who employ illegal workers for less than the minimum wage and undercut legitimate companies

Information on those people proceeded against under the Immigration Acts was published on 27 November in the command paper "Control of Immigration: Statistics United Kingdom 2002" (Cm 6053), a copy of which can be found in the Library of the House.