Foreign designers hit by Immigration Act

From next month, design consultancies employing illegal workers will face hefty fines and possibly jail.

The 2006 Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act’s data-sharing code of practice comes into force on 1 March. It stipulates fines of up to £2000 and prison sentences of up to two years for those who knowingly break the new law and employ staff without the correct work visas.

Design groups are increasingly employing migrant workers, citing the advantage of using designers well able to understand the needs of their overseas clients.

‘We like employing staff from a variety of countries as it gives us an international mindset and different perspectives on projects,’ says Linda Garcia, managing director of Turquoise.

The new law could lengthen the hiring process, according to recruitment consultancy Major Players.

MP managing director Jack Gratton says, ‘While we welcome the new act, we are concerned to ensure that employers aren’t scared into a discriminatory approach to hiring new staff.’

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