Immigration experts ask ‘Are employers now immigration police?’

Dec 2, 2020

Published 1 December 2020. Written by Maggie Baska


People Management speaks to Jonathan Beech:


Employers could be forced to act as ‘immigration police’ under new points-based system, experts warn

Read the article here

As the UK’s post-Brexit visa scheme opens for applications, commentators say businesses are still unaware of new compliance responsibilities.

People Management spoke to Gerwyn Davies, senior labour market adviser at the CIPD; Chetal Patel, partner in the immigration department at Bates Wells; and Jonathan Beech, managing director at Migrate UK.

People Management

Jonathan Beech

Jonathan voiced concerns that employers may be expected to act as “immigration police” in terms of the compliance aspects of the new immigration system.

On top of the added costs and confusion brought about by the new scheme – and the pandemic still weighing heavily on businesses – Jonathan warned there could be a rise in a “black market” of migrant workers, especially where employers worried they could miss out on new talent.

“What you could find is that a lot of Europeans could be coming in the next year and be subjected to immigration control and be entered as visitors,” Jonathan explained. “But a lot of employers might turn a blind eye to it or knowingly employ them without the necessary permissions because they want to avoid all of the red tape and fees.”

He said this would be a big problem for employers as the sanctions are huge, and he said people can end up being fined or imprisoned for knowingly employing someone illegally.


For advice on the responsibilities of a sponsor licence holder, contact Migrate UK on 01235 841 568 or email