NewsTougher New Rules for UK Employers & Landlords Recruiting Immigrants

Tougher New Rules for UK Employers & Landlords Recruiting Immigrants

The UK government has introduced tighter regulations around recruiting and housing immigrants in the country.  As an employer or landlord, it’s important to understand these new rules to remain compliant.

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Key Changes

Some of the key changes include:

  • Stricter visa and work permit requirements for immigrants looking to work or rent in the UK . Employers must now show they cannot fill a role with a suitable resident worker before sponsoring an immigrant.
  • Increased checks and due diligence required by employers and landlords on an immigrant’s right-to-work or rent status in the UK . Fines have increased significantly for those found housing illegal immigrants.
  • Introduction of a new points-based immigration system . Immigrants must now meet certain points criteria based on their skills, qualifications, salaries and professions before being granted a visa.
  • Stricter rules around use of illegal labour. Employers can now face up to 6 years in prison for “knowingly” employing illegal workers .


These policy changes have made the landscape stricter for employers and landlords looking to recruit immigrant talent or tenants. Key impacts include:

  • Increased admin and compliance burden: More checks, paperwork and record-keeping is now legally required, adding costs and complexity, especially for smaller companies.
  • Higher risk of penalties: With larger fines and even prison sentences now in place for breaches, the risks of falling foul of the law have increased.
  • Narrower pool of candidates: The tighter visa and points-based criteria mean a smaller talent pool from overseas to recruit from. Some roles/sectors reliant on immigrant labour may struggle.
  • Higher scrutiny on supply chains: Companies must now do deeper due diligence on their supply chains and contractors to avoid fines over illegal labour.

Guidance for Employers & Landlords

To remain compliant amidst the policy changes, employers and landlords should:

  • Check candidates’ right-to-work/rent status thoroughly before recruitment or rental agreements using the government’s tools.
  • Apply for sponsorship licences if looking to hire immigrants from outside the UK. Review visa and points criteria when assessing candidates.
  • Review contracts and record-keeping to ensure compliance with legal requirements on keeping registers, copies of documents etc.
  • Audit supply chains and contractors to check for illegal labour issues which could lead to prosecutions.
  • Seek legal advice where uncertain on new policies or obligations to remain compliant. Fines and penalties are now larger so risks are higher.

The immigration landscape has shifted significantly for UK employers and landlords. While the policy aims are to better control immigration, the practical impacts on business operations have increased. Understanding the regulatory changes and seeking guidance is key to avoiding legal jeopardy.

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