It is reported in today’s Guardian that Baroness Scotland identified the sanction imposed on her by UKBA in connection with employing an illegal worker as civil. She told Sky News:
“This is a civil penalty, just as if you drive into the city and you don’t pay your congestion charge or you overpay. It is not a criminal offence. I have made an administrative, technical error for which I am bitterly, bitterly sorry.”
Well, as highlighted in this month’s Employment Solutions newsletter, most people would regard the imposition of a fine and the issue of a penalty notice as falling within the scope of criminal penalties rather than civil damages. Baroness Scotland might also wish to consider that the most serious sanction available for contravention is two years’ imprisonment – a civil sanction?