From 12 July 2016, new regulations (The Immigration Act 2016 (Commencement No. 1) Regulations 2016), which were made on 23 May 2016, brought in provisions relating to illegal working and earnings of illegal workers.
A new post was created, the Director of Labour Market Enforcement. The holder of this post will be tasked with overseeing and co-ordinating enforcement of worker exploitation legislation by the three main bodies responsible, being the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (which has now been renamed as the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority), the Employment Standards Inspectorate and HMRC.
The regulations will create a new offence of illegal working and will enable authorities to confiscate earnings of illegal workers under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
Additionally, the regulations extend the existing criminal offence of knowingly employing an illegal migrant to the situation where the employer has reasonable cause to believe the person is an illegal worker. Conviction on indictment will increase from two to five years.
To assist gangmasters or employers to understand their responsibilities and potential liabilities, the government has published guidance to take in the new offence and inform employers how to carry out right to work checks as well as a factsheet on illegal working.
The fact sheet can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/right-to-work-checks-employers-guide.