April 21 2004. New guidance will be issued by the Home Office to employers to make clear what documents they are required to see as proof of entitlement to work. A number of documents which have been exploited by forgers will no longer provide a defence against prosecution for illegal employment. The Government is also considering whether to increase the penalty for employing illegal workers to act as a deterrent.

The new regulations, which will come into force on 1 May, are part of a comprehensive, cross-Government approach to tackling illegal working. This includes strengthened border controls to prevent illegal immigration, increased enforcement activity and action to tackle the organised criminal networks, who traffic illegal workers to the UK. The regulations will make changes to Section 8 of Immigration and Asylum Act 1996.

Detail is on the Employers' Information section of